As a business leader, developing and establishing your ethics policy is only half the battle. The next step involves implementation, with a strategic rollout and sharing of information with your staff. There is ethics training to consider. And these are the insights to note as you create a process for training employees on upholding your company’s ethics policies.
Defining Ethics Guidelines
Your company ethics policy may have terms or verbiage that can be ambiguous or unfamiliar to your staff. Created a glossary of terms and be sure your training involves transparent definitions. To help reinforce each topic, consider role-playing with your team training and citing examples of situations that may arise to demonstrate each ethics policy. When employees can see how ethics affects their roles specifically and know what to look for, they will be more inclined and able to enforce ethics policies.
Outlining Steps for Observing Violations
As part of your ethics training model, be sure to outline clear steps and processes should anyone encounter, experience, or witness what they deem to be a violation of ethics. These steps might include reporting to a manager or calling the company’s ethics hotline. But the key is to ensure all team members know that reporting violations is encouraged and safe to do without repercussion. And follow up with alternative rewards and recognition for those who practice ethical behavior in their day-to-day roles.
Common Ethics Training Topics
Your company may have additional or unique guidelines in place as part of the ethics policy. But, in general, most ethics training covers these common training topics.
· The organization’s cultural values
· The organization’s code of conduct
· Customer relations-related ethics
· Diversity training initiatives
· Data security and privacy ethics
· Regulatory or compliance-related requirements
· Ethical hiring, onboarding, and employment practices
· Safety regulations and ethics
Training Should Be Ongoing
Ethics training is not a one-time initiative, reserved only for new hires as part of their onboarding. Because ethics dynamics and workforce environments change, it’s imperative that you maintain a regular schedule of ongoing ethics training. Equally important is reinforcing company values and demonstrating your commitment to upholding ethics benchmarks. So, create a schedule of routine training initiatives to cover the pillar points of your ethics policies.
Training Applies to Management, Too
Your employees are watching. No matter how diligent you are about developing and training staff about your ethics policies, if your middle or key management staff aren’t following along, your employees won’t feel compelled to support those policies. Make sure you include specific training for managers and supervisors so they, too, know what behavior is expected of them. Outline how they should act and react to violations. Create processes they can follow for acknowledging great ethical behaviors, as well.
Keep these insights in mind as you develop your processes for ethics training. And remember, one of the best resources you have in the arsenal for supporting and enforcing your ethics policies is the ethics hotline. Contact Ethical Advocate to explore how having an ethics hotline can enhance and improve your organization’s ethics implementation and training.