Ethical Issues in Managing Employee Behavior
Ethical issues for dealing with individual employees is difficult because managers on the front line are responsible for various accounts such as hiring and firing disciplining and performance evaluation also during all these procedures managers are responsible for employee supervision because managers are role models for their employees in their department it is critical the managers are able to ethically resolve problems within the organization but unfortunately it is not always the case. Employee behavioral problems that occur in the workplace can have a dramatic effect on the overall atmosphere.
It is the manager’s responsibility to correct these problems in a morally right way.
Doing so disrespectfully or unethically can result in even more problems and a decrease in productivity within the organization. The concept of ethics is a key practice that many organizations need to obey by. Managers and supervisors must develop strong ethical standards that are to be taken into consideration when employees are disrupting the workplace. What are ethics and business ethics? Ethics is defined as a code of morals practiced by a person or group of people.
Ethics in business the study of what divides the right and wrong or the good or bad behavior in the workplace environment. An Organization has a group of people that work together to achieve a common purpose. The moral challenges that these men and women face each day along with a whole range of problems that could occur, are why ethics plays such an important role in business. Most large businesses have a written code of ethics, sometimes called a code of conduct to set the standards that employees are to follow.
Many ethical decisions are based on morality, society’s accepted standards of behavior. Unfortunately it is not always clear cut what decisions are ethical and which are not, In many cases the law is used to determine the direction of our behavior, however the law is not always the best tool to use because some things may be legal but not right. Ethics are what you stand for, not just about what is legal. Unethical Practices by employees can arise in three ways; The first are individual factors, because people bring to their jobs, tier own ideas of what is morally right and wrong.
The second is organizational factors the scary thing about unethical behavior at work is that it is not necessarily driven by personal interests, sometimes ethical lapses occur because employees feel pressured to do what they think is best to help their company. Third is Management influence, the manager sets the tone and by his or her actions sends signals about what is appropriate behavior for example if the boss is seen taking a longer lunch break, you may not follow the directed time and take a longer lunch break
There are three main reasons on why employees act unethically and it is becoming a rapidly increasing problem in organizations some of the more problematic and reoccurring issues are, Employee theft, showing up late, disclosure of confidential information, on the job drug and alcohol abuse, false documents, employee discrimination and bullying, misuse of company funds, improper hygiene and a rapidly growing concern is using email and social media and cell phones for personal on work hours the only way to effectively make sure these issues are diminished or improved is for the manager to handle the situation ethically, but it is not a perfect world and people even managers can bend the rules.
One of the first problems are automatic dismissal when it is not needed. Manager must have proof the employee has had been performing unethically, instead of setting up a meeting with written documentation and a third party to hear the conversation . Managers also know that if it is their word against the employees that there are good chances ofthem not even being questioned. Similar personality traits lead to managers that are power hungry and are too assertive when engaging with the employee, almost to the point where it is bullying. Even tho assertiveness is good and generates results it must not be aggressive. Managers who take pleasure in fear will use this tactic rather than understanding the issue.
Managers who are considered bullies, have little interest in change and is the company likes the results that manager is providing they may have even less interest on how they are behaving. Managers will also bully to avoid accepting responsibility for their behavior and why it may have assisted in the employees unethical decision making and to divert attention away from their inadequacy . The same can be said for harassment the “fear” approach to fix things. Instead of dealing with the situation head on, they constantly call or think that checking over your shoulder will resolve employee behavior, and it may produce results but does that make it right, no. With the ever growing use of cellphones in the workplace managers may take advantage of the fact they can contact you at any given time.
What can happen in a lot of cases is the harassing manager will scold any employee suffering from stress and see it as a weak and excuse for their poor performance for example constantly saying “get back to work” and always being on ones back. On the other side of the spectrum of dealing with employee behavior that is not accepted is managers can be passive, some managers have a difficult time disciplining employees for a number of reasons. They may feel insecure or akward about approaching employees.
Some managers rather keep an employee who is producing results and and not behaving, then have to report them or even fire them and train another weather it is that they do not want their management skills questioned, or the cost and time and energy it takes to train. In some occasions managers believe the problem will resolve itself or they may not have the assertive personality to discipline other adults. Ignoring conflicts may also be because some especially new managers can find themselves at loss the first time a conflict arises and it doesn’t just sort itself out and have difficulty finding the right language and the right techniques to use at the time. Also managers who have tried to solve a problem and failed could Lose hope and a willingness to commit to problem solving are common responses when a manager feels that his efforts are all for nothing. If previous attempts at resolution haven’t gone well, they may feel others may have lost trust in their abilities. “I don’t know where to start.”
Taking the time to assess a situation and make a plan burns up energy and attention. It’s smart to sit back and consider your next steps instead of jumping into a conflict willy-nilly, but inaction doesn’t get you any closer to resolution. Develop a plan with clear goals in mind, and get whatever help you need to put it into action. A common issue is the “I have real work to do” approach. Addressing personnel issues is an important part of being an effective manager but in some organizations managers feel it is better dealt with by human resources, the same could be said it there is an accounting issue that the document is sent straight to the Accounting department.
Although human resources managers are for recruiting, hiring and problem solving it is as equally important for the manager to be involved, you cannot manage properly if you are not fully aware or separate from what is going on in the organization, another issue is that managers will put blame on HR when the problem is not solved. Managers make mistakes while evaluating employees and their performance because of biases and judgment errors of various kinds spoil the process. When there is a behavioral issue managers will automatically assume that is not committed by “all-star” employees and spend so much time on the average joe in the organization the problem is never solved or may even worsen , new issues and jealousies may arise if the employees feel pin pointed on. This would be an example of horn and halo effect.
Personal Biases are very serious he way a supervisor feels about each of the individuals working under him – whether he likes or dislikes them – as a tremendous effect on how the employees are handled personal Bias can stem from various sources as a result of information obtained from colleagues, considerations of faith and thinking, social and family background and so on. They could be based on: Race and ethniticy which refers to broad division of people based on their biological characteristics such as colour of skin, colour of hair and their facial features. These differences developed among humans in prehistoric times due to different groups of people developing in different parts of the world isolated from each other. Ethniticy, Ethnicity refers to the common characteristics of a group of people that distinguish them from most other people of the same society. Ethnicity is based on commonality of ancestry, culture, language, nationality, or religion, or a combination of these things.
Gender and sexuality – gender bias is unequal treatment in employment opportunity (such as promotion, pay, benefits and privileges and resolution tactics, and expectations due to attitudes based on the sex of an employee or group of employees. As times develop sexual orientation is becoming more accepted but there are still judgements and labels placed. Managers may lie to employees who are not meeting up to standards Or, give out false deadlines. Nothing drastic, perhaps a day or two earlier than normal, just as long as they still has a reasonable amount of time to complete the task, but also enough time to handle anything that may pop up unexpectedly.
Many employees will often say that rewards or bonuses were promised and never given, this happens a lot in major organizations when higher positions know that employees need this job and take advantage of that fact they are very confident that if these promises are not met the employee will not complain or quit. When issues arises managers may unevenly distribute the workload to employees that they know will get the task done and give the “slacker” less responsibility without notice or increase in pay. This quick fix is unfair and will only be a temporary fix. In most cases the employee with the increased workload will find themselves pressed for time and other responsibilities will be put on the back burner and could be completed incorrectly or rushed. That same employee may develop stress which can lead to absences, spoiled work environment, less production in work, stress leaves or at the last case the employee may quit.
To ensure proper decision making, it is important to follow these basic steps ; step 1: Evaluate all the facts in the situation closely, it is very easy to distort information to benefit oneself, getting outside input can help you see things that may have been overlooked . It is also very important to see the situation based on your values and the values of the people involved. Step 2: To make a fair prediction based on the facts gathered the reasoning for this is increasing your chances for better results. Step 3: Identify your feelings (or your inner conscience) to make sure you are rationalizing the situation properly Step 4: Ask yourself if you can live with the decision you are about to make ask questions like; – Would I be willing to tell others what I had done?
– Would I feel worse or better about myself?
– Would I feel proud about my decision making and would expect others to do the same under similar circumstances? – And would you want everyone to act the way you did
Step 5: Would you be able to have evidence to justify your decision if questioned