4 Skills You Can Practise to Ensure
Your Organisation is Ethically Conscious

See also: Ethical Leadership

Ethical considerations in business should always be a high priority, especially if your organisation operates on an international scale. With an influence on the decision-making process in any organisation, when ethical responsibility becomes part of the culture, companies can see endless benefits - from a stronger reputation to higher employee retention, increased interest from investors and greater general trustworthiness.

That’s why today, we’re discussing some skills that could be practised within the workplace to ensure ethics are a number one priority. Skills that include having the confidence to encourage the conversation in and around your workplace, and taking charge of implementing new schemes that make all the difference.

Young professionals holding a business meeting.

Encourage the Conversation

Offering training in your organisation is a great way to start a conversation amongst your employees and managers alike.

Training is an efficient way to give everyone the opportunity to put their ideas forward, and create a more inclusive workplace, while simultaneously addressing and resolving any grey areas that could impact day-to-day working life. After all, the more people who are involved in discussing an issue, the better the solution to the ethical issues in your organisation will be.

Creating an approachable community environment in your workplace will increase trust, team spirit and, ultimately, speed up processes in your organisation. Why not offer regular one-to-one sessions and whole company meetings to ensure that everyone has their say, and is given plenty of opportunities to understand the values that your company upholds? Sessions like these can be an efficient way to avoid misinterpretations and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to ethical considerations and company culture.

If you’re operating on a global scale, a difference in culture may often require a customised or unique approach. So, by giving everyone the opportunity to have input in the workplace, you’re more likely to achieve a process which works efficiently, and which everyone agrees with.

Alternatively, if working towards an ethically conscious organisation across many cultures is your aim, consider working with cultural anthropologists, sociologists and language translators. This could potentially prevent detrimental marketing or HR errors in the long run, so is a worthwhile investment that will help ground ethical values within your company that are tailored towards your employees.

Establish Environmentally Conscious Values

If your company operates internationally, it’s important to be aware of your environmental considerations as an organisation.

It’s important that you practise what you value, so these values should be clear and concise to form the foundation for your employees’ ethical alignment with the company. From offering recyclable or biodegradable cups for your office, to encouraging a cycle-to-work scheme, engaging every aspect of your workplace with these values will ensure your ethically conscious culture is upheld, and is always in the minds of your employees. Providing something which everyone can get involved in is fundamental to creating a simple and fully understandable vision for the future of your organisation.

Pollution and environmental standards should always be upheld, no matter what the size of your business. The process in which you conduct business should always be in the least impactful way possible, regardless of your business location. The by-products of your organisation are a fundamental responsibility of your business, so establishing environmentally conscious values and upholding these should be a priority when it comes to ensuring ethical consciousness.

Offer Incentives and Benefits

Clear and concise values within an organisation are a great foundation for ethical alignment.

An efficient way to introduce these is to align them with specific cultural values that define the company’s future, while offering incentives to achieve a simple and fully understandable vision for the future, which everyone understands. Regularly repeating your company vision and ethical values means there will be no room for misinterpretation. If people feel valued for working towards and achieving a common goal, the more motivated they will be to take it seriously.

Business ethics are often closely linked with corporate responsibility. So, if a company does something visibly good externally, it’s likely they’re repeating the same behaviour internally.

By investing in your employees, and encouraging an ethical culture based on energising strengths and transparency, you could see a return in engagement, respect and appreciation from outside and in.

Lead by Example

The ethical values of your organisation need to be more than just what’s written on the walls of your office.

Companies known for high integrity have leaders who put the needs of their employees and customers before their own, and who model the behaviour that they expect of their employees. So, transparency, professionalism and adherence throughout the company hierarchy to your values could be the key to excelling ethically.

One way to ensure that employees are following and adhering to the company’s ethical views is to conduct performance reviews regularly, so that training can be undertaken to reinforce company values, and perhaps address any grey issues. Modelling ethical behaviour from the top down will offer a template to your employees which embodies your ethical expectations. This method which offers more than a handbook can, by showing these values in practise, consequently making adopting them in a company culture more achievable.

Team of young people high five.

Whether you’re planning a review of the ethical values within your company, or you’re considering setting up a new business, we hope you’ll be inspired to ensure your employees are practising these fundamental skills to ensure your organisation is ethically conscious at every level.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Leadership

The Skills You Need Guide to Leadership eBooks

Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.

Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.

About the Author

Elizabeth Raw is the web sales manager for R+R Packaging, providers of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials for businesses within a wide variety of industries.