Having a clear ethics strategy is vital for improving your business, but sometimes your current strategy needs a boost. Improving ethics strategies involves first noticing when you have a problem.
The good news is many of the signs are fairly obvious, if you know what to look for. The sooner you catch the issues, the sooner you can change your strategies to create a more ethical workplace.
1. High Turnover Rate
A high turnover rate is one of the more obvious signs that its time to start focusing on improving ethics strategies. This is especially true if you’re suddenly losing some of your best employees. While employees might leave due to lower pay or a new competitor moving into the area, happy employees are more likely to stick with you when they’re treated well. If they feel they’re working for an unethical company or their complaints aren’t being heard, they’ll leave.
Constant employee loss ruins any chance of a business growing. Improving your ethics and listening to whistleblower reports is critical for stopping this and holding on to great employees.
2. Increase In Reports
If you already have an ethics hotline in place, you might notice an uptick in reports. However, if you’re not also noticing anything changing, you’ll probably notice a gradual decline in reports along with an increasing turnover rate. This means your hotline isn’t working. It’s a good idea to audit your hotline regularly to ensure reports are being investigated and action taken when necessary.
Of course, an increase in reports can also mean you’ve had some recent bad hires or a resentful employee is causing issues. Either way, improving ethics strategies starts with investigating all reports.
3. Noticeable Drop In Quality
When ethics issues start plaguing your business, employees focus less on work, customer service and productivity. Instead, they’re more focused on avoiding troublesome employees, slacking off because they don’t feel valued or even trying to steal to get what they believe they deserve.
You might even notice employees calling out more often, especially if they’re a victim of unresolved ethics problems. Employees who get away with ethical misconduct, victims and those witnessing it all often feel like businesses don’t care and this makes them care less about their job.
4. Noticeable Tensions Among Employees
Improving ethics strategies should be one of your top business goals, especially when you start noticing increasing tensions among employees. While you’ll likely never see all of your employees be best friends, they should be able to at least get along on a professional level.
Ethical problems increase tensions and turn teams into individuals out of themselves. This is often an issue when ethics hotline reports aren’t taken seriously. Employees feel like they can’t trust anyone. This hurts your team and business since no one’s working together anyone.
5. Issues With Theft or Fraud
Typically, you have to rely on other employees to report theft and fraud. However, if you’re noticing more and more issues with either of these, improving ethics strategies is a must. Not only do employees believe no one will report them, they also believe no one will take the report seriously.
Proper ethics training, an ethics hotline and taking action when ethical issues are uncovered are all key parts of an effective ethics strategy.