When it comes to attracting and hiring great people, one of the top defining factors is the subject of ethics. Company culture and values have become the most important thing on the applicants’ list. A recent ethics study showed that 82% of professionals said they would accept less pay than work for an organization with questionable ethics. A company’s leadership and values can be the difference in attracting the right people to your organization.
You might be asking, how do ethics impact your business?
The potential cost can be staggering. Up to 25-200% of an employee’s salary.
The Value: Companies can lower turnover costs and disappearing productivity by adopting an ethical culture. More than one-third of employees have left a job over moral concerns.
What were the reasons employees stated for leaving a job?
The chart below outlines the ethical concerns of employees and the reasons for leaving.
Many employees state that they have seen unethical behavior frequently. The study showed that reports of questionable behavior were seen as much as daily and weekly, giving credence to the fact that unethical activity is commonplace.
Further business implications of unethical behaviors
On the positive side, there are real financial benefits to creating an ethical culture in the workplace. To reap the rewards, employers must tighten and document their practices and ensure adequate compliance.
Implementation of strong ethics in leadership
Employers can implement three levels of engagement to encourage ethics and integrity in the workplace.
- The importance of ethical conduct must be modeled from the top of an organization. Decisions and actions clearly show the value an organization places on integrity. Communications about the topic should not just be randomly addressed annually but reinforced consistently so the entire organization can internalize the practices.
- Help educate employees about ethical concerns when performing their responsibilities.
Make employees aware of situations that may come up and help them recognize possible problem areas in their daily activities.
- Create ethical leadership throughout the organization.
Make sure employees are encouraged to discuss integrity issues openly. An ethical Leader does the right thing despite any oversight and ensures that a corporate culture of integrity is preserved. How you do business is as important as getting it done.