I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes this week speaking to and answering ethics questions for a select group of Interns working for the summer at a prestigious financial firm in New York. I was asked by the Director of Learning and Development if I would share some of my thoughts on business ethics as these interns prepare to go out into the corporate world.
There was a question revolving around the issues of job interviews and what to look from an ethics perspective. Here’s what I told them. When you go for a job interview:
- Compliance and ethics are not the same. Compliance is the letter of the law; ethics is the spirit of the law. Compliance is a “” and a priority. Ethics seemingly is neither.
- Ask to see organizations’ code of ethics. If they give you a code of conduct, ask again if they have a code of ethics, as they are not the same. If they do not, ask why not?
- If they do, ask how is this code of ethics and ethics training ongoing and inclusive?
- If they do not have a code of ethics, ask how do you implement and train your people on your mission statement and corporate values? Is it ongoing, how often, ?
The answer to these questions, in particular, will give an insight into your decision, your values and what your priorities are.
I was so impressed with their insightful questions, the “wanting to do the right thing.” and how open they were about asking the right questions.