Value and Ethics in Business – A Basic Understanding
Values and ethics in simple words mean principle or code of conduct that govern transactions; in this case business transaction. These ethics are meant to analyse problems that come up in day to day course of business operations. Apart from this it also applies to individuals who work in organisations, their conduct and to the organisations as a whole.
We live in an era of cut throat competition and competition breeds enmity. This enmity reflects in business operations, code of conduct. Business houses with deeper pockets crush small operators and markets are monopolised. In such a scenario certain standards are required to govern how organizations go about their business operations, these standards are called ethics.
Business ethics is a wider term that includes many other sub ethics that are relevant to the respective field. For example there is marketing ethics for marketing, ethics in HR for Human resource department and the like. Business ethics in itself is a part of applied ethics; the latter takes care of ethical questions in the technical, social, legal and business ethics.
Let us go through some workplace ethics:
Rules and regulations ought to be same for everyone. Everyone needs to attend office on time irrespective of their designation, distance of their home from the workplace, salary or status. An individual cannot come to office late just because he is the team leader and his team is already present and working on his behalf. If a day’s salary of a clerk is deducted for coming late to work, it should be the same for the marketing manager as well.
Company’s policies need to be communicated clearly to each and every one. There should be transparency at all levels of hierarchy. Employees are the backbone of any organization and thus they must have a say in company’s goals and objectives.
An organization ought to respect its employees to expect the same in return. Rules and regulations should not be too rigid. Don’t expect an employee to attend office two days before his marriage date. If an employee is not keeping well, please do not ask him/her to attend office unless and until there is an emergency.
Management must not forget that money is a strong motivator for employees. Everything is important, be it career, growth, job satisfaction but what is most important is employee’s salaries. Do not unnecessary hold their salaries for a long time unless and until there is really shortage of funds. In case of marketing and sales employees, conveyance and mobile bills must be cleared at the earliest. Do not ask for unnecessary bills and documents.
Organization should not expect employees to attend office 365 days a year. It is the responsibility of human resource professionals to prepare the holiday calendar at the beginning of the year and circulate the same among all employees. Let employees enjoy their respective festivals and come back to work with positive energy and smile. Infact allow them to go in the festive mood two days prior to the D day. Ask them to organize pre festival bashes at the workplace. Let them dress in colourful attires and have fun. Trust me, work never suffers this way. Rather, employees feel attached to the organization and strive hard to deliver their level best every time.
Give employees the space they require. Key responsibility areas need to be communicated to the employees on the very first day of their joining. Roles and responsibilities need to be assigned as per an individual’s expertise and experience. Do not expect an employee with one year experience to head the marketing team. Employees need to be trained well. Organizations need to give at least six months time to the new employees to adjust in the new environment.
It has been observed that most of the times employees crib when they are underpaid. Make sure employees get what they deserve. Salaries should be decided in the presence of the employee and also keeping in mind an individual’s role in the organization, his/her gross salary in the previous organization, responsibilities within the current system and of course his/her years of experience. One of the major reasons as to why employees quit their jobs after a year or so is poor appraisal system. Increments ought to be directly proportional to the amount of hard work an employee puts in through out the year and also his / her performance. Unnecessary favours are against the workplace ethics.
Do not be too strict with your employees. Do not block all social networking sites. Blocking face book and Orkut is not the ideal way to ensure employees are working and not wasting their time. Even a 24 * 7 check would not prevent employees from wasting their time unless and until they realize it themselves. The moment, you are strict with something, people would tend to do the same more.