Free Essay Comprising a Business Ethics Program

Published: 2022-07-12
Free Essay Comprising a Business Ethics Program
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human resources Organizational behavior Business ethics
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1866 words
16 min read

In these modern times, many businesses if not all businesses are stressing the idea of ethics. Business ethics involve a particular set of practices that a company uses and adheres to in the day to day running of the business. Indeed, business these days not only involves the creation and production of trendy products and the provision of world-class services as the only reason why customers are attracted to it. Business ethics has a number of definitions attached to it depending on location, situation, and industry. The best definition is that business ethics is a set of standards, moral values, and codes of conducts in a business organization. Some of these values include honesty, responsibility, fairness, and timeliness (Masterson & Nunan, 1968). These business ethics conform to a regulation or a law in business organizations. Due to this reason, many organizations have placed much scrutiny on persons acting on behalf of the organizations to ensure that they stick within the ethical guidelines. As such, many have opted to create formal ethics programs to address the best actions for those working in the organization especially pertaining to ethical principles (Schwartz, 2017). This paper aims at developing an ethics program for an organization as part of its new employee handbook.

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The components of a good ethics program include a standard set of guidelines and procedures that should and/or should not be followed, audit and investigation mechanisms and systems, a mechanism for reporting, the code of ethics that should be adhered to, ethics training for the employees, and a way of communicating these guidelines to the employees. It is critical and essential to note that all the components mentioned are not a must have for organization's ethics program (Cragg, 2002). Indeed, many organizations will have different emphasis and reasons for using either component. Of importance to all the organizations, however, is the compliance level of the ethics programs by the employees and stakeholders of the organization. Compliance is necessary as it prevents and helps the employees avoid violating government regulations, criminal conducts, and self-interests (Schwartz, 2017).

Applicable Standards and Procedures Section

The first step in the development of a business ethics program is developing an applicable standards and procedures section. The section will include a set of standards and procedures that the organization should or should not do because of the acceptable and unacceptable nature as found in the code of ethics. These standards will define the day to day practices that the employees will need to follow to ensure that they adhere well unto the company guidelines. Standards and procedures must be appropriately established to allow the management to delegate their authority safely. An organization that lacks these standards will often have employees operating at cross-purposes because it is not clear what is expected of them (Masterson & Nunan, 1968).

These standards will include; a dress code policy, work hours and turnaround time, hiring policies, confidentiality policies.

Dress code policies

Dress code policies determine the dressing that is required and is acceptable at the business premises. The dress code policy will also have grooming under it. Company X being a service company that interacts freely with customers regularly has set out procedures about dressing and grooming that should be followed to the latter. Failure to which, the organization will take necessary actions as described in the company's guidebook. To that end, the organization requires all of its employees to always be in company uniform at all times. The clothes should be neat and clean as part of the effort to ensure that the customers can easily identify an employee. Also, the company badge should always be around an employee's neck to identify him/her easily and the department he represents. Grooming should also be kept neat and clean to match the company uniform. Failure to following these standards will lead to suspension and if necessary, dismissal from work altogether.

Work hours and turnaround time procedures

Employees at Company X should adhere to work hours to ensure smooth continuity of work even during downtime. The company is not a 24/7 type of business and has an opening and closing times in the morning and evening. The total number of workers each individual should work is six hours daily with an hour's lunch break and thirty minutes in between for breaks. In total, this accounts for a 40 work hours per week with breaks included. It is important that an employee ensures that he/she has his/her area of jurisdiction covered by another employee during breaks to ensure that there is continuity in service to the customers. Failure to attend work, or failing to attend work without proper reason or justification will be met with equal punishment where applicable and might even lead to termination of employment. It is important for an employee to communicate beforehand why he/she will not be available for work giving a justifiable reason and presenting proof and evidence when he/she arrives to work later.

Hiring policies

Company X is a new organization which will see the need for hiring more employees as days go by and as the company enlarges as is envisioned in the company's vision and mission statements. As such, it is important to ensure that some good policies and standards will be used for hiring to ensure that the company hires competent personnel. The Human Resource Department will be required to hire competent individuals who meet the criteria of the company as is required for a particular vacant position at the company. Hiring competent personnel is one of the keys to the overall success of the business which means that this is a very critical area of the business. Any instance where the organization overlooks the best candidate for a job because of personal reasons rather than for the benefit of the company will see the immediate termination of an employment contract for those who participated.Confidentiality policies

Company X is entering into a business field that has many other organizations that are in the same line of business. It, therefore, means that there is competition and other companies may use unscrupulous means such as acquiring confidential information from another company to ensure that they stay ahead of the competition. As such, confidentiality policies have been put in place to ensure that company employees adhere to confidentiality of important company information that is vital to the well-being and continuity of the business. Employees are expected to respect confidentiality and keep company secrets to themselves. By signing an oath of secrecy during orientation, employees will be tasked with keeping quiet about the company secrets. If at any point it is identified that an employee divulged company secrets and confidential information, he/she will be met with the full extent of the law that he/she placed on him/herself by signing the oath of confidentiality.

Training Programs

Training of employees is meant to help employees identify certain ethical problems and how they should deal with them. It also helps the employees develop their moral intuitions which are necessary and implicit for everyday choices and actions. It is necessary in today's world not just to identify ethics in business but also train employees to ensure that they stick to what the organization has identified as the best ethical practices for business growth (Schwartz, 2017). The training program will include a number of components that will be followed to ensure success. They include:

The frequency of training- employees should be trained regularly at least on an annual basis to ensure that they keep up to date with the changing needs of the company and market in general. It is also important to have followed up training which will also take stock of achievements during a financial year regarding ethics in the organization.

Specific content included in the training program- this is an important element to consider for an ethics training program. Ethics encompasses a large area, and it is quite easy for one to train employees on matters that do not have huge implications and spend time on them. For instance, it is important for company X to consider such issues as those identified in the standards guideline. Focusing on ethical ways of handling heavy machines would be a waste of time for the company. It is important to do a background study to identify the content that will be necessary to include in the training program.

Duration of the training program- the training program will last for a minimum of one week and a maximum of two weeks depending on the components that are being trained on.

The training program will be carried out by our able Human Resource Department with the help of professionals who will be employed for issues that need better clarification and training that cannot be sourced from within.

Employee Misconduct

Employee misconduct arises from an employee's failure to keep to the business ethics as set out in the business ethics program (Cragg, 2002). It is one of the components of standards and procedures deliberately left out because it was to be expounded at this section.

Measures and procedures to be used

It is important that an employee is aware of all areas that count as workplace misconduct and the penalties that follow. One could employ call and computer monitoring to ensure that employees use their time for the company while at the workplace. Call monitoring is randomly listening to telephone conversations to see whether an employee complies with ethical procedures. Call monitoring can, however, place one in hot soup with the law and it is important to ensure that while doing this, you are not infringing on the rights of the individual. Computer monitoring is using various software that can see what another person is doing on his computer (Cragg, 2002). It is helpful in monitoring fraud and theft, especially where finances are concerned. Another plan of action is installing surveillance cameras all around the business premises and monitoring the employees to ensure that they do not engage in any act of misconduct (Schwartz, 2017).

Types of misconducts and how to look for them

Defining workplace misconducts such as fraud, theft, sexual harassment, conducting personal business, blatant insubordination and receiving personal emails during work hours among many other employee misconducts. Misconduct involve an employee engaging in any form of activity that goes against business ethics. One could encourage the employees to report any form of misconduct taking place in business (Schwartz, 2017). Also, the use of surveillance cameras, call monitoring and computer monitoring as reported above can also be used.

Reporting employee misconduct

Anonymous reporting is one of the best ways that can see employees report any form of misconduct committed by another. One should be careful to ensure that the reporting is true before taking any actions because it may be done out of malice.

Identify measures or procedures you will use

Create a culture that sees reporting of misconducts as a normal aspect of the business. It is important to have an open door policy with the staff from the management to the subordinates. Employees should be made to understand that any act of misconduct will affect business and inherently affect his/her life in the long run especially when it is not checked.

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