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How Leaders Can Create an Ethical Organization

Leaders in the organization need to enable for an ethical culture in the organization. Enabling for ethical organizational culture is more than just simply saying ethics are important. There are a number of practices that organizations can put in place in order to create an ethical organizational culture.

  • Leaders must model appropriate ethical behavior themselves. When leaders are unethical, or have questionable ethics, employees will follow suit. Leaders must be held accountable for unethical behavior and not protected within the organization.
  • The organization should have a code of ethics that is clearly communicated and shared with all employees. This code of ethics should guide all decision making within the organization.
  • Human resources must provide training to reinforce the organizations code of ethics. Employees should understand it means to be an ethical organization.
  • There should be clear guidelines that dictate how unethical behaviors will be dealt with – and these policies should apply to all employees regardless of their role. These guidelines should also provide a formal mechanism for reporting unethical or questionable behavior.
  • The organization should reward those employees that model ethical behavior and make tough decisions, or takes an unpopular stand, that supports the organization’s code of ethics.

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