For all practical purposes, ethics training is mandatory. Federal sentencing guidelines reduced penalties for employers accused for misconduct who implemented codes of conduct and ethics training. An amendment to those guidelines how outlines stricter ethics training requirements. Ethics training usually includes showing employees how to recognize ethical dilemmas, how to use ethical framework (such as coeds of conduct) to resolve problems and how to use human resources activities (such as interviews and disciplinary practices) in ethical ways.
Training like this needn’t be complicated. Lockheed Martin provides its employees with short, “what-if” ethical scenarios that highlight how identify and deal with conflict of interest situations. The Training should also emphasize the moral underpinnings of the ethical choice and the company’s deep commitment to integrity and ethics. Top manager’s participation underscores that committed.
Ethics training is often Internet based. For example, Lockheed Martin’s 160,000 employees also take ethics and legal compliance training via the firm’s intranet. Lockheed’s online ethics program software also keeps track of how well the company and its employees are doing in terms of maintaining high ethical standards. The program helped top management see that in one year, 4.8% of the company’s ethics allegations involve conflicts of interest and that it takes about 30 days to complete an ethics violation internal investigation Online ethics training tools include Business ethics from skillsoft.com and two online courses, Ethical Decision making and Managerial Business Ethics both from netG.com.
Figure summarizes the tools and technique employer’s use as part of their ethics training programs. As you can see new hire orientation annual refresher training and distributing the companies policies and handbook are all quite important.
Performance appraisals are uniquely personal and important maters to most employees and employees therefore enter the appraisal interview with a heightened sensitivity regarding fair treatment. To most employees, unfairness here reflects not just the supervisor’s actions, but also the employer’s inaction in having not taken the necessary steps to prevent the unjust treatment.
How the supervisors do the appraisals is important. Studies (and practical experience) confirm that in practice some managers ignore accuracy and honesty in performance appraisals and instead use the process for political purposes (such as encouraging employees with whom they don’t get along to leave the firm) Few things can send a more damaging signal about how fair and ethical the company is. To send the signal that fairness is paramount standards should be clear, employees should understand the basis upon which they’re going to be appraised and the appraisals themselves should be performed objectively and fairly.
Reward and Disciplinary
To the extent that behavior is a function of its consequences, the employer needs to reward ethical behavior and penalize unethical behavior. Researches suggest that employees expect the organizations to dole out relatively harsh punishment for unethical conduct. If the company does not deal swiftly with unethical behavior, it’s often the ethical employees not the unethical ones, who feel punished.
The employees of an Indian company based in one of the western states of India worked continuously to meet the demands generated by the sudden flood that engulfed the city. The objective was to keep the city’s gas supply functioning so that residents can boil water for consumption, thus preventing water transmitted diseases, and under these extraordinary circumstances employees were allowed to purchase supplies and spares directly often without submitting bills. Later, however, when the company found out that an employee (whose contribution during the crisis period was appreciated and rewarded) had submitted false bills, immediate action was taken and the employee was terminated.
Similarly, the board of infosys Limited, the Indian IT Company fined its CEO for failing to inform the stock exchange about the change in stock ownership within one business day of the transaction. He had inherited the Infosys shares form his mother but did not inform the board according to the rules. The CEO was also directed to donate the fine of Rs 0.5 million to a charity.