The Organic Approach
Each of you who read my letter understands the need to build a more ethical workplace so I thank you for your loyalty, and I will continue writing this letter in a manner deserving of the courtesy you extend to me each time you open it.
Today is the day to stop thinking about ethics the way you normally think about it.
The typical approach is to devote as many resources as reasonable to addressing compliance requirements because the laws and regulations demand it. In doing so, you meet the requirements and miss the opportunity to ultimately transform your company’s culture. It is time to take the next step, and building ethics into your brand in a way that increases revenue, increases profits, and makes yours the marquee brand, and it will demand that you and your key managers be smarter, and more innovative than ever before.
You want employees that are confident because confident employees make positive decisions that produce more revenue. They make the right decisions at the right time, and for the right reason. So how do you build confidence in your employees; employees who are not afraid to make a decision?
That work begins with you. And it starts with accepting that ethics is a discipline that needs to be practiced every day. Accountants and engineers can speak about their work naturally; with energy and passion. The knowledge of their craft is organic, and that is the skill level managers and employees need to have when talking about ethics.
Your company culture already causes managers and employees to have regular discussion on Health, Safety, and Environmental issues. The process of public discussion at work already exists. So what does it take to develop an organic conversation about ethics?
Your leadership today and forward should be about building the linkage between your company’s values and the standards of behavior that you want to built into every decision. This linkage needs to be supported by policies and procedures that engage employees at all levels in a conversation that occurs at regular intervals throughout the year.
The in-house training you already provide does a good job of providing employees with examples and advice on handling a range of issues. They cover thoroughly the statutory and regulatory requirements, but their focus is not the organic knowledge that allows an employee to have a natural conversation, to look at any decision, large or small, and intuitively apply an ethical standard as naturally as they would the standards of their particular discipline.
This can be an exciting time to create new energy in your company. If you are ready to have this conversation, let’s talk. If you have questions, please give us a call at 832-452-8537.
Food for Thought: “Set your expectations high: find men and women whose integrity and values you respect, get their agreement on a course of action, and give them your trust.” (John Akers)