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Ethical Behavior At Work: What Are Employees Willing To Do?

October 19, 2009

Spend your career in human resources and you will certainly come across your share of employees who will do whatever they think it takes to get ahead at work.   They take one wrong step and dont’ get caught, so they take another.  And another.  Before you know it, they are climbing the hill of lies to the top and trying not to fall off the edge. Cliffhanger 1

Lying?  Check. 

Stealing?  Check. 

Cheating, belittling, bullying, and avoiding?  Check, check, check, check.

What is it about human nature that makes some people follow all the rules and others believe it is alright to break them?  We may never have that answer.  It may be because the opportunity is there.  It may be that they feel dissatisfied with their role so they lie or cheat to get ahead in the company or department.  There are a whole host of other reasons.  The important thing is to help your employees by recognizing and rewarding the positive behavior they demonstrate in order to move the company forward.

Ethical behavior is the cornerstone of good business.  In times of economic instability are there higher incidents of unethical behavior in the workplace?  I wonder. 

What do you think?  Are you finding this to be an issue, or do you think employees are even more “buttoned up” and walking the straight and narrow in order to keep their jobs?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dawn Hrdlica permalink
    November 14, 2009 3:28 pm

    What’s interesting is that I am not necessarily seeing more buttoned up behavior in general. But I am seeing people responding to progressive discipline much more quickly. Where before ees may have taken the discipline more lightly—I’m seeing “buttoning-up” happening if job loss is remotely in the picture.

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