The importance of ethics
Ethical leadership sets the foundation for a successful organisation and must be developed in every industry. Research has shown that ethical leadership is a key influence for reducing risk in ethics and compliance throughout the workplace. Gauging the quality of ethical behaviour within an organisation can be complex, as managers tend to view ethical behaviour with a more positive perception than employees do.
Managers can utilise L&D professionals and LMS programs to close the gap in perceptions and improve ethical behaviours throughout the organisation.
Ethics and business
Regarding ethics, S. Chris Edmonds states ‘for leaders to be viewed as ethical, they must ensure that everyone – leaders, team members, customers, everyone – is treated with trust, respect and dignity in every interaction.’ Power in organisation takes a specific balance and to improve behaviours, managers must identify organisational needs and implement proper training.
There are many factors that influence the development of ethical leadership. One of the key values to build ethical behaviour is integrity. Typically, ethical leaders are able to:
- make difficult decisions that achieve positive results for both employees and the organisation
- build trust and be trustworthy within the organisation
- focus on organisational goals with key values in mind
- help develop employee potential and care about employee success
- behave with an integrity that aligns with organisational goals
Ethical leadership achieves much more than a lowered risk of unethical behaviour. Organisations with ethical leaders tend to have higher employee engagement and lower employee turnover. Leading by example, employees have more motivation and drive to achieve organisational goals for quality leaders.
Research has also shown that addressing and committing to organisational culture, values and achievement improves revenue by 20%. This commitment to integrity by top management also leads to a reduction in observed misconduct, which improves efficiency and collaboration in the workplace.
Developing ethical leaders
Training and development is not always about product knowledge, in-house skills or factual information. Developing a cohesive and ethical organisation starts with top management learning the ethical skills needed for quality leadership. Holding all managers and employees to the same standards in ethical training improves employee engagement and helps shift the perspective of ethics to a more positive one.
The best way to develop ethical behaviours is to create case-driven and conversation-type learning programs. PowerHouse LMS offers off-the-shelf ethical training courses as well as the opportunity to build custom courses for your ethical learning needs. These courses can be offered to anyone in the organisation and can be altered for different levels of leadership.
Ethics is important to every organisation and has the ability to alter the way you conduct business. Ethical leaders improve compliance, employee engagement and the environment of the workplace. Identifying and training ethical leaders should be top priority for every organisation.
- Fernandes, P. (2017). How to be an Ethical Leader. Business News Daily. Retrieved from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5537-how-to-be-ethical-leader.html
- Oesch, T. (2017). Identifying and Training Ethical Leaders. Training Industry. Retrieved from https://trainingindustry.com/articles/leadership/identifying-and-training-ethical-leaders/