How to Promote Professional Ethics in the Workplace?

How to Promote Professional Ethics in the Workplace?

Talking about business, you notice huge competition. Every business has to work in such a manner that showcases its credibility and reliability. The business has to depict great honesty and high ethics to see them apart from tough competition.

Having strong professional ethics in the workplace is a bonus. Employees are the backbone of the company. Working with a company that promotes high ethical values makes employees feel proud. Their loyalties grow well and work with integrity. If we go a bit deeper, even customers choose companies that promote ethics as it acts as a "feel-good" factor while they interact with the company.

However, with increased competition, customer domination, and the struggle for business survival, businesses tend to miss out on common ethical issues in the workplace. Let's have a look at some of them and read further to know how to promote professional ethics in the workplace.

Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace

1. Toxic Workplace Culture

 Some people from the staff get introduced to the toxic workplace culture where harassment of any kind is prominent. Incidents like sexual harassment in the workplace, mental breakdowns, and verbal abuse are practiced commonly that interfere with work performance. This leads employees to feel detached from the company making them less productive.

2. Unrealistic and Conflicting Goals

Not only a toxic work environment but setting goals that seem unattainable also creates ethical issues in the workplace. Coping with deadlines, meeting targets, and completing reports can skip the factor of establishing ethics in the workplace. Even employees are put under pressure results in a breach of ethics and cutting corners to obtain the desired goals.

3. Health and Safety

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 2018 study, in the United States, 5,250 people lost their lives to workplace accidents or illnesses. The workplace environment influences ethical issues in the workplace. Here, I am mentioning both physical harm and mental health concerns. Concerns like high expectations, job insecurity, and effort-reward imbalance are some of the common potential causes of ethical issues in the workplace.

Now you can notice,  ethical issues tend to develop in the workplace with the only target of making profits in the business. Therefore, it should have a solution. Here I am sharing five ways to promote professional ethics in the workplace.

Five Approaches to Encourage Professional Ethics

1. Create a Code

Every company has a consistent Ethical Code to follow. This Code of Practice has a set of values that help employees to work cordially at work. Big companies have really inspiring codes of ethics.

For example, a Multinational financial services corporation - Visa has the slogan “Integrity. Everyday. Everywhere.”, while American automotive company - General Motors (GM) believes in “Winning with Integrity.”

Having said that, no two companies have the same code of practice. Hence, you should also frame a code that promotes professional ethics in the workplace. This acts as an initial point to work in a cordial manner under the same atmosphere.

2. Lead by Example

Ethics in the workplace is mostly determined by the behavior displayed by top managers. A tone set by the higher authorities is considered a code of ethics. But, a survey by the Chartered Management Institute says that 80% of employees believe that their managers don't set a good moral example.

This leads to a point of discussion that leaders/managers or top authorities, whether managing directors or chief executives, must behave in a manner to set an example of being a role model.

Along with that, there should not be different rules for seniors and other employees in the organization. This will encourage a peaceful working environment and better performance delivery by the employees.

3. Report Unethical Behavior

Unethical behavior in the organization should not be tolerated. For the proper working of the company, there should be a secure way to report the problem to the authorities.

Companies have whistle-blowers that may or may not be able to access the proper information to the management. Keeping silent and tolerating is more damaging to the employee's mental health as well as to the company as a whole.

Therefore, reporting the wrong without fearing anyone, or confidentially should be encouraged in the workplace. Moreover, to ensure an ethical environment, a proper root cause and solution should be given to the victim of unethical behavior.

4. Be Transparent

Transparency is the requirement of the business. From hiring practices to production standards, transparency is the key. To acknowledge the proper execution of the ethical code, employees must have transparency.

This helps in establishing complete strategic communication without disruption or misunderstanding among any worker in the company. Companies that give priority to ethical behavior make decisions keeping the employees and customers in mind.

Thus, transparency is the ultimate requirement for better performance and delivery of work in the organization. This adds value and trust to the employees to work more efficiently for the company.

5. Reward Ethical Behavior

To promote ethical behavior in the organization, rewards and acknowledgment act as binding forces. Employees are more likely to work with honesty and integrity when the company recognizes them.

This sets an example for others to behave in the same manner. The rewards may be anything like giving them a "star" brochure, giving them a shout-out in the official meetings, or gracing them with a monthly award.

Thus, establishing a positive environment in the organization will help connect the employees and the company. This builds the integrity and trustworthiness of employees in the company.


To wrap up, there are some elements that guide running the business in a certain way. Promoting professional ethics in the workplace is one of those elements. Paying fair wages, providing a good internal environment, environmentally friendly policies, and transparency act as sources of ethical behavior in the organization.

With the ever-changing business world, ethical policies should be amended accordingly. Take examples of the big companies to establish a better work environment. This is an initial step that leads to the prosperity of the business. It is the responsibility of the company to provide an environment where they can perform better, have peace of mind, and good working environment.

Lastly, you should also focus on the promotion of professional ethics in the workplace to get a good reputation among the employees and customers as well.