The only way to rid organizations of toxic behaviors is to create a culture based on the foundation of ethics. It takes a while for organizations to realize the impact of lack of Ethics and Principles. Ethics and profits go hand in hand. Ethics inspires trust, which in return gets the best customers, resulting in fabulous branding. Ethics also makes employees proud which result in lowering of people costs.
Unethical behavior soon becomes a habit, a significant breeding ground for toxic actions and people. Ethical deviations can be corrected by putting in some simple practices in organizations and teams.
- Have a “code of ethics and conduct” clearly documented with an ethics audit at regular intervals. All ethical deviations leave a footprint for sure.
- Create ethics champions within organizations who are role models for others to emulate. These are a must for role-modeling ethical conduct.
- Train leaders to deal with real-time ethical dilemmas. Nobody is ever taught to do this, and yet we expect Leaders to lead by examples.
- Reward ethical behavior and build in deterrents for preventing causation of unethical practices.
- Have zero tolerance for moral deviations, encourage whistleblowing and put ethics committees in place
- Publish action taken reports at enterprise level to create an “alive” code of conduct
- Make ethical conduct fundamental to performance management
Ethical behavior is a mandate however people can always deviate; as it is vocational. Please also understand moral people can also depart from ethics. The more intelligent the people, the more deviant they can be. This constant monitoring of deviations and counseling is a must. It is the responsibility of Leadership to sustain the framework of ethics in the organization.
Extend your ethics guidelines to all your stakeholders. Ensure you do not bring in toxic stakeholders in your eco-system. Protect your supply chain from toxic impacts.
As we move into the era of transparency owing to technology, it will be challenging to sustain unethical practices. Technology is a significant deterrent. Bring in tools to check deviations within the organization, which are based on technology.
Future is secure for ethical companies. Unethical practices as per “Chanakya” only have ten years of life. It pays to be ethical in the long run for sure.