ETHICAL BEHAVIOR: What Is It, Example & Importance

Ethical Behavior
Photo Credit : Forbes

A morally upright individual demonstrates a consistent set of values. Many companies create specific ethical standards that regulate their employees’ behavior in the workplace. 

These morals may aid employees and organizations in upholding established norms of responsibility, accountability, and competence as they navigate a variety of challenges and commonplace occurrences. In addition, the lives of employees, clients, stakeholders, and the general public can all be improved by upholding these standards at work because of several significant benefits.

Therefore, this article’s objectives are to define ethical behavior, discuss its benefits in the workplace, and offer instances, and its importance.

Ethical Behavior

Personal convictions or the desire to make the world a better place can serve as ethical motivations. People with high moral standards usually act honorably regardless of whether they are praised for it. It might include every facet of life. Additionally, an organization should act ethically in all aspects, not just as an individual employee. Integrity, honesty, equality, and a host of other admirable traits are examples of ethical attitudes. 

Code of Ethics?

An employee’s ability to conduct business following the company’s standards can be ensured by following a set of guiding principles found in a business code of ethics. Based on their core values, businesses may create an ethical code, or they may choose to emphasize a particular internal procedure. Therefore, an employee’s moral code that directs their behavior in terms of what is right and wrong in terms of conduct and decision-making is said to be acting ethically in the workplace. 

Ethical Behavior Example

There are many instances of ethical behavior in both personal and professional settings.

#1. Respect for Oneself and Others

Employees must always respect one another, no matter the dynamics of their relationships or the points of agreement or disagreement. People may take criticism less personally, communicate more openly, and appreciate different viewpoints when there is a foundational level of respect.

#2. Effective Communication

The success of many businesses is heavily dependent on effective communication. Having open lines of communication and allowing employees to interact freely can reduce the likelihood of miscommunications. Reminders and constant communication can lower the probability that an employee will break the rules or deliver subpar work.

#3. Responsibility

In many workplaces, mistakes, and misunderstandings are unavoidable. People and organizations must take ownership of their mistakes so they can act positively to make things right. Employees are typically able to hold themselves and their coworkers to an accountability standard when there is one in place at their workplace.

Ethical Behavior at the Workplace

A company typically demands ethical behavior from every worker, team captain, and manager in the workplace. Employees acting honestly and fairly in interactions with coworkers and customers can be aided by ethical behavior in the workplace. 

Demonstrating ethical behavior in the workplace can be beneficial for both customer relations and team morale. Retaining employees may be simpler when they work for a company they believe in. Employers who treat everyone equally and uphold ethical corporate standards may attract more talent. 

Over time, it can also promote customer loyalty, creating a base of devoted clients who might help the business expand by recommending it to others. It is equally important to ensure that ethics are taken into consideration during the decision-making process. Ethical practices typically call for your team to uphold fair and honest principles.

Ethical Behavior in Healthcare

Any healthcare professional must adhere to high ethical standards. Healthcare professionals need to understand ethical dilemmas to make wise judgments and decisions based on their values while abiding by the laws that control them. Ethics is based on four main tenets: autonomy, beneficence, justice, and non-maleficence.

#1. Autonomy

Every patient has the right to exercise independent judgment per their values and beliefs. Every patient has the right to decline care or any medical recommendations. Healthcare personnel will accept whatever decision a patient makes, irrespective of the consequences.

#2. Beneficence

Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to avoid mistreating patients, reduce harm, and foster goodwill.

#3. Justice

Everyone who is a patient has the right to expect fair treatment from healthcare practitioners. Justice refers to how individuals are treated when their interests conflict with those of others.

#4. Non-maleficence

The right to not harm applies to patients. Nurses must act without malice toward patients to uphold this principle. The hardest to uphold of all the principles is probably this one.

What Is the Importance of Ethical Behavior?

The management team is working in the best interests of the company, so employees can have faith in their efforts. Supervisors can foster a climate that promotes and supports positive attitudes by upholding ethical standards.

#1. Employee Satisfaction and Happiness

When companies pledge to uphold high ethical standards, they frequently treat their employees better and motivate them to do the same for others. Companies and partners who uphold ethical standards support the development of a work environment where employees feel valued, heard, and fulfilled in their roles. With this higher level of satisfaction, businesses may have an easier time keeping their current staff and attracting new talent. 

#2. Improved Workplace Culture

Businesses that conduct themselves ethically and responsibly frequently have executives and staff who do the same. By doing this, the corporate culture can be significantly enhanced.

#3. Customer Retention and Engagement

Consumer engagement and loyalty can rise as a result of ethical business practices. Brands that are committed to upholding moral principles may attract customers more readily. As a result, clients might feel more comfortable endorsing an organization or making financial investments with such companies. Increased customer retention is possible in this type of circumstance. Customers and clients can relate to a company more deeply and keep coming back when they have trust in it.

#4. Enhances the Company’s Public Image

Businesses that establish unequivocal ethical standards frequently gain a better public standing. Customers and society at large are becoming more and more conscious of how businesses treat their employees and interact with the public. So, a company can improve its reputation by acting ethically and reducing complaints related to unethical behavior. 

#5. Efficient Decision-Making Processes

Businesses can build a solid organizational culture by establishing ethical standards for behavior for their employees. Organizational leaders might benefit from using these ethical guidelines to help them make better decisions and deal with problems more quickly. Such streamlined decision-making processes can assist organizations in the long run to achieve organizational consistency and sustainability. 

#6. Build Customer Loyalty

Customers who feel they have been treated unfairly, such as by being overcharged, will stop doing business with a company that engages in unethical behavior and won’t come back. One of the essential ingredients for long-term business success is a base of devoted customers. 

#7. Attract More Investors

Investors can have peace of mind that their money is being used responsibly if they are confident that the business they are working with values morality and will operate ethically. Additionally, they can relax knowing that they are not unintentionally supporting unethical behavior. 

What Are Examples of Ethical Behavior?

  • Adhering to company rules
  • Confidentiality
  • Compassion
  • Trustworthiness in Relationships
  • Having integrity
  • Responsibility 
  • Justice and respect 

What Are 4 Ethical Behaviors?

Honesty, truth and justice, morality, virtue, and understanding are all examples of ethical behavior. 

What Is Ethical Behavior at Work?

Ethics in the workplace is the moral code that directs employees’ behavior in terms of what is right and wrong in terms of conduct and decision-making.

Why Is Ethical Behavior Important?

An ever-improving public reputation results from consistent ethical behavior. It’s crucial to realize that moral conduct at work can encourage productive employee actions that foster organizational development, just as unethical conduct at work can spark negative headlines that foster organizational failure. 

What Matters Most in Ethical Behavior? 

#1. Integrity. 

Employees who have integrity are typically the most dependable, have the highest moral standards, and are adamant about always acting morally. 

#2. Honesty

An honest person does not mislead others by providing false information. This includes acting in a truthful manner, which is typically devoid of any intent to cheat, lie, or otherwise fabricate information.

#3. Discipline

 It takes some self-discipline to complete the tasks on time while also ensuring that they are done well rather than rushing to finish them at the last minute.

What Helps With Ethical Behavior?

What then should employers do to promote ethical behavior within their organizations?

#1. Leadership by Example

Since they frequently serve as role models for their staff, managers should conduct themselves honestly and openly. Others in the organization are more likely to follow ethical principles and practices if senior staff is seen upholding them.

 #2. Offering Ethics Training

Training must offer specific, applicable information rather than nebulous ideals. Employees may encounter several specific situations, which the company’s ethics officer or human resources division should list.

Onboarding and orientation typically concentrate on completing paperwork and educating new hires on specific tasks. The company’s ethical standards should be explained verbally to new hires as part of the hiring process, and they should be made aware of potential ethical dilemmas.  

#3. Promote Employees Based on Ethical Behavior.

Any decisions you make about raises, or promotions should take ethical behavior into account. If you don’t, the workplace might develop a negative culture. Promoting and rewarding unethical behavior sends the message to all employees in the company that breaking rules of conduct is necessary for success.

In summary

The use of moral guidelines in a particular circumstance is what is referred to as ethical behavior. It refers to acting by the moral guidelines established by the culture in which we live. A society needs ethical behavior to run smoothly. Honesty, justice, integrity, and understanding are all characteristics of ethical conduct. The financial success of a company is positively impacted by ethical behavior. Don’t make ethics a secondary consideration in your workplace culture. 

Ethical Behavior FAQs

What is Ethical Behavior?

The use of moral guidelines in a particular circumstance is what is referred to as ethical behavior. In essence, Honesty, justice, integrity, and understanding are all characteristics of ethical behavior

What Helps With Ethical Behavior?

  • Ethics Training in the Workplace
  • Leadership by Example

What is Ethical Behavior at Work? 

The moral code that directs employees’ behavior in terms of what is right and wrong in terms of conduct and decision-making is known as ethics in the workplace.

Related Article

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  2. ETHICS IN BUSINESS: Meaning, Types, and Examples
  3. ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS: How To Design Organizational Ethics and Behaviour
  4. ETHICS IN BUSINESS: Why Are They Important?
  5. CORPORATE CULTURE: Definition, Types, and Benefits


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