Business Ethics: Creating an Atmosphere
I worked for a not-for-profit organization in the metroplex for 6 years. This not-for-profit organization dedicates time and effort to youth in the community by providing outreach services that include drug and alcohol awareness, youth leadership development, and academic support. This business has been in existing for many decades and empower the youth to be productive citizens. Throughout my time with the organization, I was noticing the need for a proper ethics program. The name of the organization will remain confidential in this paper. The area in which the business needs to reevaluate and provide a proper ethics program is to improve the caring climate factor.
For this organization, the ethical climate questionnaire assessment resulted in the need for the caring climate to improve. “Ethics program can not only help you retain current customers, but also attract new customers familiar with your stellar reputation” (McGurgan, 2017). Improving the caring climate impacts customers and employees and makes a positive impact on all factors of a solid ethics program. Caring climate is defined as having concern or care for others (Johnson, 2018). Caring climate should be a concern due to this organization being a part of the service industry. In this organization people are its customers and customers should be a priority. The organization needs to improve the caring climate to build a strong working community that will impact a positive customer experience. Therefore, the first step is to exam the organization’s vision statement is critical for an effective ethics program. Trainees will have an opportunity to define in their own words what the vision statement means to them and how it is relevant to a caring climate. In a discussion format participants will provide examples of how to display the vision statement into action in the day to day activities, position, and service to the organization’s clients..
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During the next phase of the ethical training program the participants will be divided into groups and discuss any ethical issues they have encountered. Johnson (2018) suggest tapping into the experiences of participants helps reflect on decisions made regarding good and bad solutions to ethics. After an open conversation about ethical encounters a good idea is to provide trainees with examples of dilemmas. Providing scenarios to employees gives them an opportunity to share thoughts and critically think about the best solution to an ethical dilemma. This is a practicing tool to correctly solve client concerns and encourage employees to solve the issue in a quickly manner. Eser states, “discussions and scenarios where employees are actively involved to understand why policies exist and what each partner should do to maintain compliance” (Tinobusiness.com, 2015). The organization’s leadership team is extending the element of trust and growth all employees by allowing them to practice solving the dilemma.
Another critical element in effective ethical programs, an organization can allow participants to actively engage in the ethics program (Johnson, 2018) by giving employees an opportunity for input and feedback. Asking questions such as “How can we as an organization emphasize a caring climate without negatively impacting the other areas?” or “Have we encountered an new dilemma that has not been addressed?” When employees are giving the opportunity to provide suggestions it create a caring atmosphere, they are committed to the company, and “involve followers in decision-making process (grant them a significant voice)” (Johnson, 2018, p.338) encourages positive behaviors in the organization. Employees can also be given a game with different scenarios and quotes from the ethics code to understand and make sure the ethics code is addressing areas of concern. In this phase reviewing the organization’s ethics code “the opportunity to explore and discuss your policies and procedures to ensure that these rules are followed at all times” (Tinobusiness.com, 2015). is also beneficial for establishing a caring and professional climate.
Johnson (2018) suggests, reinforcing ideologies to establish high caring expectations revisiting the organization’s core values is essential. The core values of the organization provide a guide for everyone in the organization to follow. Rexaming the core values is important the organization needs to align the core values with the business vision statement. Johnson (2018) states, “core values are the first component of core ideology”. The organization can post the core values in different areas to reinforce a caring climate. Employees can reference the core values on a daily bases and be reminded to deliver services based on important elements to the organization.
The last critical element to improve a caring climate is “integrating an entire curriculum” (Johnson, 2018, p. 355). The organization can incorporate the ethics program in different avenues for example, in the new hire orientation, during in-house professional development, using it as an ice-breaker for quarterly meetings or healthy departmental competitions. The having a ethics officer monitor the organization will also reinforce the a positive behaviors and provide rewards or recognition to individuals who display a caring atmosphere also encourages others to follow suit. Incorporating a working ethics program establishes a healthy organizational culture. When there is a harmonious environment with a solid ethics program “a positive reputation will not only help you keep customers; it can also help you recruit and retain employees” (McGurgan, 2017) whom are essential to having a successful organization.