Building an Ethical Company
In a company set up, most workers are usually motivated to do more than just the normal hence are open to new moral character. Employees can nurture their abilities and skills over a given period and learn and perfect to be more ethical. Many organizations partake in ethics training as a one-time event, thus limiting its development. The next time they address ethics may arise only when establishing whistleblower hotlines or when adopting codes of conduct. These steps may control specific unethical actions but not help employees develop an ethical culture. Below are some of the steps an organization should adopt in building an ethical company according to Alexander Djerassi.
Recognize the Role of Work in Our Lives
Work plays a very important role in everyone’s life as it helps in structuring families, social and personal identity, and many others. Houses of worship, therapists’ centers, and conversations with close friends have served as moral learning places for a long time. Nowadays people spend most of their time at work thus this can play a major role in how we think and act.
Work and life have now blended, leaving the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. This has largely been contributed by a trending push among the millennials for greater authenticity. Additionally, activism is on the rise, with employees urging their leaders to address emerging issues such as diversity, political discourse, immigration, among others. When we face a moral decision, our reasoning usually kicks in to help assess and resolve the situation. The existing closely related examples will then undergo an updating process, and the more experience we get in a moral situation, the more we get better at our prototypes.
Create a Safe Place for Reflection
Creating a safe place for employees’ reflections simply means turning an organization into a moral laboratory. However, it is important first to overcome scenarios and simulations which could otherwise make it hard for employees to learn on the job. Alexander Djerassi says that the absence of sufficient reflection leads to loss of self-control, ignorance, and failure to align to one’s ideas. Reflection carries a great capacity for the development of ethical expertise at work. Research has proven that tolerating unethical behaviors usually sends a wrong signal to employees and can lead to wrongdoings. By creating a psychologically safe environment for ethical learning, employees are equipped with well-intentioned spaces to learn through reflection.
Focus on Serving Others
Building a truly ethical culture entails more than helping employees do moral actions. Ethical culture demands employers empower workers to do good things. Serving others can reduce self-focus, thus raising awareness of moral concern. Additionally, service to others greatly contributes to psychological flourishing. This has been backed by a study that demonstrated a strong link between volunteer service and an improved mood of well-being. Companies may work with an ESG consulting agency so they can embrace providing employees with opportunities to serve the community. For example, Salesforce gifts employees a fully paid seven days off yearly for volunteer work. The volunteer work involves the passage of skills free of charge to the communities and assists nonprofit organizations to utilize cloud technologies better.