For your employees to feel safe and appreciated in the workplace, there are a set of core values and rules that should be established. An ethical work culture should allow employees to have a voice if they feel there is any wrongdoing within the establishment and have a sense of communication between the business owner. It is often the far more large-scale businesses that make headlines when unethical acts are performed behind closed doors; however, smaller businesses should also be aware of how to make their workplaces completely ethical.
Here are a few basic tips to build an ethical workplace with these simple practices.
1. Be a visible role model
As the business owner, you should always be connected to your employees and reassure them that they can confide in you, should they witness unethical behaviours. Your employees should look up to you and see you as a role model whom they aim to follow in the footsteps of, rather than someone they dislike or have little respect for. When senior management are viewed as moral individuals, it sends a positive message to the rest of the workforce.
2. Encourage employees to report unethical behaviour
Although it may seem as though reporting is set to stir friction within the workplace, when any serious situations need to be addressed, and being in the know as a business owner is crucial. If you wish to build a good relationship with each and every employee, make sure you express that any reports made are completely confidential and will be taken very seriously. Have an open door policy so that your employees can always feel valued, and that they know if they were to speak to you, their words and opinions matter.
3. Only use ethical products
Lessen your carbon footprint by investing in products that are ethically sourced or produced in the same country as you. For instance, choose recycled paper, turn off computers at the end of the day, and buy locally-sourced foods and drink. If you offer food to your employees, check where it is from, or if you provide hot drinks, you can get organic coffee beans from office-coffee.co.uk. Sometimes it is the small things which can add up to a larger picture.
4. Don’t put too much pressure on your employees
Although employees may have daily goals to meet, it is important not to pressure employees or cause them to feel anxious within their job role. Too much stress could trigger long-term mental illnesses, therefore setting unrealistic goals wouldn’t be an ethical move to make as a business owner. If too much pressure is placed on an employee, they may seek the easy way out and go on sick leave or look for a job elsewhere. To help alleviate pressures, ensure your employees are properly trained, have manageable deadlines and are able to ask for help if they should need it. After all, your company should work as a team, and while too many cooks may spoil the broth, your employees should be able to ask for a hand if it were to help them.