Put values before results

Give your staff an opportunity to speak out about unethical conduct without fear of reprisal, says the CIPR.

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One of the frequently asked questions following a high profile corporate ethical failure is "why didn’t anyone working there speak out?" Doug Grave did the right thing, but he ran into a culture of fear and silence. Putting results ahead of ethical conduct is one sign that an organisation may be heading for moral meltdown.

Managers have a duty to create a culture in which ethical conduct is an expectation and employees can speak out without risking their jobs. In a culture that is purely target driven, employees can lose sight of values and unacceptable behaviour can become the norm rapidly.

Instead of only giving employees targets, give them examples of ethical and unethical ways of meeting them. Using the CIPR Code of Conduct is a good way of communicating the principles of professional conduct and managers and staff alike should use it as an extra moral compass to guide them.

Check the CIPR Code of Conduct before you act, at cipr.co.uk

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