By Nicole Long
To succeed, small businesses must create an atmosphere of honest and ethical behavior within the workplace. The level of honesty associated with a corporation impacts the very livelihood of the business and can affect relationships beyond the internal infrastructure of the company.
Vendors, customers and the surrounding community all expect and deserve to deal with a company striving to build honest and ethical relationships.Achieving this remains the responsibility of every employee, from management on down. Read more below.
1. Set a good example. Hold yourself to a high moral and ethical standard to help provide employees with a solid example of what you expect from everyone in the company. Include expectations related to honesty in the company mission statement and employee handbook. Stress the importance of honesty in all communication, including communications with vendors and customers.
2. Promote open and honest communication. Communication represents a key factor in keeping a workplace free from rumors, negativity and dishonesty. Allow employees to voice concerns, offer ideas and seek counsel without the fear of punishment or a defensive reaction. Encourage management to operate on an open door policy. Schedule time specifically each day, or week, to speak with employees and begin to identify any common problems. This not only provides management with a way to feel out the overall mood of the office, but also helps to bring dishonest behavior to light more quickly.
3. Stress the importance of addressing mistakes as soon as possible. Employees do make honest mistakes from time to time. Ask employees to make necessary parties aware of mistakes as soon as possible without the fear of negative consequences. This will encourage employees to continue the theme of honesty and allow them to make mistakes right without perpetuating dishonest behavior.
4. Seek a solution to any display of negative or unethical behavior. Weed out the rotten apples and the employees that continually seek to undermine the company culture of honesty and integrity. Establish a system for penalties, such as termination, for those employees who continually display dishonest behavior.
5. Reward employees who follow company policy and demonstrate honesty on a consistent basis. Consider various options, such as additional paid time off, gift cards or awards of recognition, including plaques and certificates.
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