I have been suggesting to job seekers that one of the first things to ask a prospective employer is for their code of ethics. If they can’t produce one, think twice about any possible job offer. Why? Because if a company can’ tell you what their values are, how they are implemented, how ongoing the ethics training is, what else can’t they tell you?
Here’s a short series of questions to start the reflection on your company’s ethics initiative
and where other ethics training opportunities may lie.
1. Do you have a code of ethics? If not, why not? If so, do all employees have a copy of it? Does the company provide ongoing ethics training to reinforce the code? Is the format working?
2. With so many different formats for learning, how do you know which one is the most effective? Is your ethics training a “one shot” deal or is it ongoing?
Are all employees, from the top down, required to participate in ethics training?
3. What are the options for your people to confidentially report unethical behavior, i.e. hotline, ombudsman, ethics committee? How well are they utilized? If not, do you know why? If they are, how expedient and justly are you in dealing with the issue?
4. Do you reward ethical behavior and punish unethical behavior?
5. What type of ethics training do your new hires receive? If none, what does that say?