Ethical Responsibilities and Behaviors of Employees

The success of a company in today’s dynamic and competitive business environment largely depends on the relationship between managers/owners and employees. Business firms can reinforce a positive behavior and healthy work relationships by implementing an ethical code of conduct or a company policy that clearly outlines desired behavior in the workplace.

It is important for employees to adhere to the company’s work ethics and principles because they are the glue that binds the company with its external stakeholders. Employees are not only responsible for business operations, but also for the communications that are necessary for the firm to relate with customers and other external stakeholders. For this reason, employees have certain ethical responsibilities.


First, employees have ethical and moral obligations to represent the interests of their employer or organization. Loyalty goes both ways, but employees have immense duties towards the organization and customers. They should represent the organization’s interests effectively when negotiating with customers, and should speak well of the company before the public eye.

Follow the Rules

Following the rules is both a legal and moral obligation. It is the right thing to do. Employees are often required to sign certain documents containing rules and regulations. Sometimes they may be given a handbook with rules and policies, which should guide their behavior in the workplace. The rules may touch on issues such as how to relate with other employees, reporting time, how to dress, discrimination, harassment, roles and responsibilities, and following work schedule. Adhering to these rules are essential for the long term relationship between the firm and its employees.

Professional Relationships

It is common for people to report cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, but this could be the result of unprofessional conduct by the affected parties. To ensure that employees’ ethical behavior is promoted, there should be clear professional standards to be followed. Conversations occurring in the workplace should not only be professional, but also in line with company’s code of conduct. In fact, maintaining professional relationships with coworkers has a direct impact on productivity.

Ethical Communication

Ethical communication in the workplace is also an important ethical behavior for employees. Managers and business owners should train their employees on how to communicate effectively with each other to avoid conflicts in the workplace. An employee who has disagreed with one of his or her colleagues should follow the right channels to communicate rather than spreading gossip. Managers should also set the right standard by communicating ethically with employees. Ethical communication behaviors in the workplace includes listening to others, using polite language, respecting privacy and confidentiality of others, and speaking the truth. Lack of ethics in communication may lead to bullying, discrimination, harassment, demotivation, and lower productivity.

Consumer Privacy

Another area of ethical conduct among employees is to maintain confidentiality and privacy of customers. If consumers can share their data, employees should protect such information and treat them confidentially. This will make the customers to feel that the company cares about them, leading to increased customer loyalty. It is an ethical responsibility of employees to protect the interests of customers including their privacy.

Fairness and Justice

Discrimination has been common in the workplace for centuries, and it undermines workers’ productivity. Employees’ ethical behavior should be based on fairness and justice in work relationships. Employees and managers should promote diversity in the workplace by allowing everyone to perform and be heard on important business issues regardless of their social or cultural backgrounds. There should be equal pay, equal distribution of duties and responsibilities, and appreciation of diversity. Employees should respect each other’s unique values and beliefs, and help one another to accomplish common goals.

Duty and Responsibility

Employees have certain responsibilities that they must fulfill in their job. They have responsibilities towards the employer, colleagues, and customers. Ethical behaviors focus on working according to one’s duty and responsibility as provided by the company policy. It is unethical for any employee to abscond duty and misuse their position in the workplace.

Indeed, employees have the duty and responsibility to perform their tasks in a professional and ethical way. Ethical behavior is needed in every organization to put every employee on toes and ensure that they promote the ideals and goals of the organization.

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