Ethical Training for Employees: A Practical How To Guide

Robert Russell By Robert Russell, 9th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

Prior to Socrates, Greek philosophy was concerned with questions about nature. Socrates turned his critical gaze on human beings themselves. Ethics, in Socrates' opinion, concern our public life and not just our private affairs. Hippocrates' Hippocratic Oath may be thought of as the first example of a professional or business code of ethics. A code of ethics lays out ethical guidelines and principles for the members of a particular profession or business.

Creating a Code of Ethics

(1) Make a list of goals you want to achieve by establishing a code of ethics for business.
Goals may include such things as establishing better employee-employee relations and employer-employee relations, improving communication, loyalty and trust in the work environment, acting more responsibly as a professional, preventing illegal business practices and increasing financial productivity.

(2) Create a Code of Ethics handbook.
The ethics handbook should encapsulate an overall ethical framework and vision as well as including specific ethical principles and guidelines. Clarify the primary goals and vision of the code of ethics. Provide information concerning rules and procedures to follow in case of ethical conflicts. For example, what is the proper chain of command to follow when filing a complaint. Clarify specific rules, regulations, and expectations for business practices and conduct. Include general and specific penalties that may ensue for conduct that violates the code of ethics.

(3) Organize and set a date for an ethics training workshop for all company employees.
he type of workshop depends on the nature and size of the business. A two- to three-day weekend at a local business retreat center is ideal for some types of businesses, while other types of businesses are better suited to scheduling ethics training workshops around the business day at the place of business itself.

(4) Create a program and schedule for the ethics training workshop.
Combine role-playing activities that deal with concrete ethical situations and dilemmas with a series of lectures or discussions. The discussions and lectures should clarify ethical conduct in general and your particular code of ethics in particular for the employees. Consider bringing in a business ethics specialist as a keynote speaker. Divide the employees into groups to act out particular ethical situations.

(5) Conclude the ethics training with a question-and-answer period.
Be willing to listen to feedback, criticisms and suggestions from your employees. Ethical training is most effective as a dialogue rather than a monologue. Socrates is the father of the Western ethical tradition. Socrates engaged his interlocutors in a debate to always move the discussion forward. Learning occurs by carefully listening to opposing points of view.


Business Ethics, Business Management, Code Of Ethics, Ethical Training

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Russell
I play guitar professionally in a Cajun/zydeco band named Creole Stomp. We are a nationally touring band that have been together ten years. I also have a PhD in philosophy.

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author avatar Mavicity
10th Jan 2012 (#)

This is very helpful, I am starting to build my printing business and have been pondering over manpower management for quite a bit. Thanks for the notes.

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author avatar ittech
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Very nice article.thanks..

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