This study is to evaluate the level of ethics and ethics training in Canadian organizations. Ethics training in institutions is gradually gaining importance not only to the teams but the entire state of Canada due to necessary changes in the new firms. Trending events in Canada shows that old means of managing the Ethics in Organizations are becoming obsolete and should be replaced by an active involvement of continual training that are more efficient. The theoretical part of the training focuses on three major areas that involve adult education and critical thinking; work ethics and ethics training, and organizational and individual values. The part includes a detailed survey on the promotion and management of ethics in organizations. The recommendation section provides how ethics in organizations can be promoted to an efficient, consistent and determined way.
With the regularly expanding worldwide competition and the financial demands of our time, there is added weight for workers to accomplish driven goals while additionally tending to ethical issues. As organizations in United Canada attempt to confront these concerns, people in leadership must understand and adhere to existing, new and regulations. This implies those in charge of authoritative ethical training and must ensure that workers understand the guidelines and apply ethical practices in their regular work environment schedules. It is essential that organizations not only create and communicate their ethical measures but also pass the information to all workers at each level. It is clear that proper conduct can be achieved through ethics training. However, ethics training programs in organizations need to go beyond the teaching of requirements and benchmarks: they should likewise help employees figure out how to successfully perceive and react to everyday ethical issues experienced in the work environment.
Training shapes the culture of an organization as stated by Pratt (2016, p. 3-7), this helps employees to have more and better positive thinking and perception of organizational ethics than those working in firms with no such trainings. Depending on the organizations’ standards to be achieved, groups can link their programs to a variety of philosophical frameworks as stated by Pratt (2016, p. 7-13). The management can develop a program based on the moral philosophy of no consequential or consequentialist ethics. For example, if the training body focuses on teaching compliance and to carry out one’s job at an ethical standard, then the practice is likely to be based on deontological approach. In this method, the ethics program is to help employees to understand policies, rules, regulations and procedures considered valid for task accomplishment. Other methods can encourage employees to think about how their actions can impact their colleges. Ethics training programs can draw multiple frameworks to achieve training goals and objectives (Harris, 2014, p. 4-21).
To succeed in training ethics, the program should: help employees understand the ethical judgment philosophies and decision-making heuristics; Areas of ethical concern within the organization /profession should be addressed; teach and practice the group’s ethical rules and expectations; help employees to understand their ethical tendencies. It is essential to train workers to be effective in moral terms (Network of Networks, 2016).
Current events that undermines the importance of ethics
Pratt (2016, p. 17-21) alluded to the increasing crisis within the Canadian policies as a result of the change of Canada from industrial to an informative society. The crisis in organization policing shows that large informational centers such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal where there are serious allegations of sexism, corruption, equity and racism have plagued organizations. Media coverage did not only highlight these cities but also Edmonton and Saskatoon got covered with similar issues. Organizational conduct is being scrutinized and seen as a public concern. Response to these issues focuses on corporate training on work ethics (Hergenrader & University of Texas at Dallas, 2010, p. 21).
Focus of research
This research concentrates on the roles played by ethics training in the management of standards in the Canadian organizations. In this research, it is acknowledged that training is part of an environment that initiates and influences the moral behaviors and moral competence of agency’s employees (Harris, 2014, p. 25-31).
Role of Ethics in Organizations
Organizational and management ethics goes hand in hand with an individual’s moral and ethical advancement. Political and social change contributes to high expectations on ethical behavior in organizations.
The Strong ethical culture within an organization is essential in safeguarding assets. Employees who abide by the society’s ethics can respect and to protect the institution’s assets. For example, an employee would avoid making personal long distance calls using the organization’s line. Employees can only respect team’s assets when treated with respect and dignity. This makes them feel proud to be part of the team. Organizations need to ensure that employees work in an environment with strong ethics and integrity (Hergenrader & University of Texas at Dallas, 2010, p. 29-34)
Productivity and Teamwork
Work environment values are important in fostering increment productivity and collaboration among the employees. Productivity and cooperation help to align the standards of the organization with those of the employees. To achieving this alignment, there is need to encourage continuous dialogue on the values of society; this enhances integrity and openness between the team and staff. Ethics enable employees to feel a strong association between their values and those of the company. Such feelings are shown through increased motivation and productivity.
A company’s reputation in the public domain remains good when it makes ethical choices. For example, a company can meet corporate social responsibility by reducing disposable waste. This will be considered by the public to be working with integrity for valuing the environment.
The culture of decision making is an ethical conduct that enhances transparency and accountability. During a crisis, high ethical culture controls one in managing conflicts by taking the right steps. The ethical culture can place one at a position to introduce changes successfully (Network of Networks, 2016).
Importance of Ethical Training to employees
Organizations should plan and give adequate time for staff training in organizational ethics to equip the workers with skills to help them handle ethical issues at the workplace. In these training, the leaders need additional training so as to reflect their roles as the forefront individuals (Kavathatzopoulos, 2014, p. 21-32). When leaders are given additional training helps them understand their roles and appreciate their responsibilities as they nurture the organizational culture. The benefits of an organization for training its employees are;
- Strategic mileage, a staff that is equipped with skills and knowledge has got skills to handle ethical dilemmas and make ethically sound judgment.
- Employees can identify ethical risks at the workplace and deal with them in a way.
- Morally trained staffs are motivated and are more productive.
- The ethically trained staff carries out the organization’s values, and this keeps the team focused on achieving its goals.
- Ethics training enhance awareness on staff and enable them to reason and dialogue on ethical issues thus coming to ethical solutions.
- Ethically trained employees have a good worker – employee relation in operational matters.
- Ethics training helps reduce employee misconduct and keeps workers away from any unethical conducts.
- Ethics training equips staff with immediate solutions to handle organizational damages that are caused by unethical conduct (Reilly, Sirgy, & Gorman, 2012).
Effective techniques used in organization ethics training programs
Research by Institute of Ethics (2009) on effective methods used in organizational training programs highlighted existing problems of organizations values by describing financial scandals about current economic systems.
However, existing methods in training are confident and competent in ethical decision making.
No matter the method used, it is recommended that the training techniques should abide by the federal laws. The effective methods are summarized by Institute of Ethics (2009) as follow:
- Develop compliance standards and procedures tailored to the company’s business needs.
- Designate high-level personnel to oversee compliance.
- Avoid delegating substantial discretionary authority to employees with a propensity for illegal conduct.
- Educate employees on the company’s standards and procedures through publications and training.
- Design a compliance system that includes auditing and monitoring processes and mechanisms that encourage employees to report potential violations.
- Enforce standards through appropriate and consistent discipline (University of Waterloo, 2011).
- Report all violations, and take appropriate steps to improve the program.
The research further states that the methods positively impacts employee attitude and decision making.
- Personal, informal and formal technique method positively affects employee’s behavior.
- Using of combined code of ethics and ethics training.
- Combining the code of ethics into organization culture help achieve the required results.
- Anonymous Reporting Systems whereby the training educates the staff of the reasons of the meaning of exposing unethical behavior.
- Process-based versus event-based.
Implementing the Organization’s Ethics Training Program effective
A vibrant ethics training program must focus on linking the organization’s code of conduct into daily work life. To establish an ethics training program that sticks to the recipients, the following guidelines can help make it stick and efficient (Reilly, Sirgy, & Gorman, 2012, p. 4-14).
- Make it accurate. The ethics training programs should focus on particular behavior and should be backed by action.
- Make it a two-way conversation. The program should feature a procedure allowing those with questions to ask and get management to rectify apparent weaknesses in the processes.
- Make it interactive. Interactive programs are very effective since it allows employees to learn firsthand on how to make better ethical decisions including steps to follow when faced with an unfair situation.
- Make it memorable and situational. The training programs should have quizzes to test the trainees’ understanding and if they fail, then can be asked to practice the behaviors described over the training.
- Make it relatable. Use case studies and interactive presentations where the participants give real examples of bad and good ethical actions to enable them to understand the effects of unethical behaviors.
- Reinforce it. The training instructor ought to review and reinforce habits learned by trainees through repetition.
- Enforce the ethics hotline. This will help the employees to report when in an unethical dilemma (University of Waterloo, 2011).
This research helps us to get a better understanding of how ethics training and education can be conducted, the effective training techniques and methods of making these techniques to stick. A complete analysis and review of an organization’s procedures are beyond the scope of this research. This research work suggests that it is important to focus on the moral content. For a group to run efficiently, it needs to have ethically trained staffs. This enables the team to deliver its best since the employees will be working in alignment with the organization’s objectives. Well, trained workers on ethical values are valuable to both the community and the team, the reason being that they understand the importance of ethical behaviors and vice-versa. By investing in employees through training, they pay back as they will safeguard the organization’s assets. So employers should not consider training employees as a waste of resources.
Harris, H. (2014). Ethics Training for Corporate Boards. Achieving Ethical Excellence, 7(2), 113-131. doi: 10.1108/s1529-209620140000012003
Hergenrader, S. M., & University of Texas at Dallas. (2010). An experimental study of the effect of addressing non-conscious factors in ethical decision making during ethics training in public administration. Washington, DC: Unipress.
Institute of Ethics. (2009). Ethics Training | DCU. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from https://www.dcu.ie/ethics/ethics-training.shtml
Kavathatzopoulos, I. (2014). Ethical competence training for individuals and organizations. Moral Leadership in Action, 3(2), 16-42. doi:10.4337/9781843767503.00027
Network of Networks. (2016). the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) – Canada Education Program – N2 Canada. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://n2canada.ca/the-collaborative-institutional-training-initiative-citi-canada/
Pratt, P. (2016). EFFECTIVE AND ETHICAL ORGANIZATIONS. Managing Nonprofit Organizations, 5(1), 11-42.
Reilly, N. P., Sirgy, M. J., & Gorman, C. A. (2012). Work and quality of life: Ethical practices in organizations (4th Ed.). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
University of Waterloo. (2011). Human research ethics training | Research. Retrieved December 2, 2016, from https://uwaterloo.ca/research/office-research-ethics/research-human-participants/pre-submission-and-training/human-research-ethics-training