Ethical practice - Lesson 4: your reflections

Welcome to the online community learning space for the lesson: Considering the implications of unethical behaviour. Use this forum to discuss the community reflective activity in the lesson. Read the contributions of others, ‘liking’ those you find helpful and add your unique reflections to the conversation by replying to this post. Click here to return to the lesson page at any time.

Community reflective activity:
Think about your own experience in coaching, influencing or encouraging others to behave ethically. Share your experience and thoughts.

  • In reply to Laura:

    I agree, and form my own experience but I see is that in those companies with a manual of ethical conduct at the end, it is only a tick in their onboarding plan, because they do not see how the manager follow it. It is very common the Blind Spot.
  • In reply to Michelle Battista:

    If you missed the CIPD ethics webinars you can listen to the recordings that are available on this CIPD webpage... www.cipd.co.uk/.../ethics-work-guide
  • In reply to Anne Page:

    Is the organisation doing anything to address this situation, Anne? If so, it would be lovely to know what is being done or, if nothing is currently happening, what you think could be done.
  • In reply to Joanna:

    I agree with the statement about being a role model at all times as it is easier to point out to others who are not behaving ethically.
  • In reply to Michelle Battista:

    Hi Michelle, I went looking for the ethics work guide but was unable to find it.
  • I used to work for an International Bank which is governed by a whole raft of regulatory requirements including mandatorily having a Code of Practice and a Code of Ethics as stand alone documents. Whilst we had these documents, in order to ensure that our staff understand the requirements, we run a number of workshops with real examples to help with understanding. While I understand that there will be different levels of understanding from the line manager down to the staff, the workshops have now become an annual event. This has also been incorporated into the Orientation Process. We are human beings and what is considered unethical behaviour will vary from culture to culture.
  • In reply to Frances:

    Hi Frances, can you access this www.cipd.co.uk/.../ethics-work-guide let me know how you get on :) thanks.
  • Through my own experience, I believe the main catalysis of unethical behaviour to be two-hold. Firstly, when an employee becomes disengaged from the work of the Company, they become complacent and detach themselves from the consequences of their actions. And secondly, third-party pressure on leadership teams to take action concerning employees; regardless of whether there is sufficient factual evidence of any wrongdoing. The latter is very 'sticky' situation, as on the one side we want to keep our Clients satisfied with the service provided, maintain good business relationships and prevent the loss of the contract or financial penalties associated. Whilst on the other side, we need to protect our employee from unethical or unlawful actions and protect the company from any potential claims which could result in reputational and financial costs the business. It becomes a balancing act between the employee, client and business interests, which is difficult at best. In these circumstances, I encourage the manager/leader to consider the wider impacts of their decisions they may take, highlighting the legal, financial and reputational consequences. I think it is vitally important to consider the perspectives and points of view of all of the stakeholders involved and try to reach a win-win solution.
  • As one of several managers all with different portfolios, I experienced frustration that whilst I was managing my teams in line with policy / procedure / working expectations, other portfolios were not achieving the same. Silly example would be not conducting RTW interviews, or failing to complete appraisals. Worse, we were expected to self audit eachothers locations, but because the same manager would be responsible for returning and reauditing any location scoring too low, scores were unjustly bumped up to avoid the extra work, whereas my management of these was detailed and thorough with the overall aim to improve the business/performance for others. It seemed at first that I was adding to my and my teams workload with "my expecations" on them, whilst others were being paid the same to take it easier, as there was no follow up from senior management about things that just didn't get done. It also led to comments from my team (who had experienced working for other managers already) that it wasn't as easy to work for me. This led me to be quite demotivated at first, as initially it was taken as a negative that they preferred to work for others however after sitting with them and explaining the why (and as a previous post mentioned, the how) and ensuring a bigger picture understanding there was a bit more cooperation and enthusiasm to achieve the right thing. It is very hard when Senior Management show no desire to reward and recognise nor follow up on non-compliance, however I was able to self-motivate to continue in my management style by a high volume of promotions being made from my team - showing me that ultimately I must be doing something right and I had postively influenced anothers understanding of why doing the right thing matters :-)
  • One of the biggest obstacles I've found in encouraging ethical behaviour, is that I am insufficiently prepared for a response questioning why we should be ethical. As this is a mindset I find it difficult to empathise with, I'm not always able to predict these responses and prepare counter-arguments accordingly.
    On reviewing a recent longer discussion around unethical conduct, I notice that (by accident) the most successful case I made was when I pointed out that a recurrence of bad apples probably pointed to organisational climate issues and situational hazards, and that these types of pressures had different remedies.