a metaphorical banana and a quote on ethics in the workplace

What Place Do Ethics in the Workplace Have? Finding the Balance

Every employee, as well as the employer, should respect the rules of ethics in the workplace. In fact, most workers are required to sign a contract which also states this detail, before actually starting to work in their new position. Ethics refer to having a proper behavior and high moral values. All these are important for every company because it can lead to a better teamwork and higher profitability.

What Are Ethics in the Workplace?

Ethics in the workplace refer to having integrity, an exemplary behavior as well as being committed to your work and team. Taking responsibility for all your acts is another thing that relates to having ethics.


These are the things that help an individual to guide his/her life. They can affect ethical behavior if they are not properly defined. For example, some people have an urge to earn money no matter whom they affect or what they do. This is an improper behavior, but unfortunately, a lot of businessmen are doing it. Some of them don’t even realize that is a wrong thing to do. It is just the way they see the business field.


Morals are a person’s characteristics that have a great impact on his/her ethics in the workplace. You can even say these are someone’s personal rules, which they develop, depending on several factors such as cultural norms, traditional values, religion, education, and childhood. However, someone’s life goals and sometimes, even frustrations can also affect morals.

Ethics in the Workplace Benefits

  • Customer loyalty. If you take advantage of your clients once, you can rest assured that they will never buy from you again. Treating them well, respecting them and having an ethical behavior, will make them trust your company more.
  • Good employees. Skilled and experienced workers expect you to treat them well and develop an ethical organizational culture. Otherwise, they might quit their jobs sooner that you expect.

Factors That Might Affect Ethics in the Workplace

  • Work culture. For an employee to behave well, he/she needs to feel motivated and happy. Work environment rules should apply in the same way for everyone involved in a certain Respect should be encouraged between employees but also between managers and workers.
  • Leadership style. Managers play an important role in establishing a role model. They can even influence their team members’ behavior and ethics in the workplace. There are researches that states when a boss is acting rudely or strictly, employees are more likely to behave inappropriately.
  • Job responsibilities. In an ideal world, jobs would suit employees perfectly, matching their needs, preferences, and talents. In the real world, they often receive lots and lots of work assignments and projects. Even though they probably do the best they can, sometimes their efforts are not acknowledged by their managers. This might lead to shady ethics in the workplace.
  • Family and personal life. Although some say you should keep your personal life separated from the professional one and vice versa, this is hard to do. It is not like you have two different personas inside of you and you can pull out whatever works better in a certain situation. If your personal life is not working great, if you have problems at home with your family, this will show at your job too. It might even make you behave irrationally with your coworkers.

Final Words

Applying ethics in the workplace will not only create a better work environment, but it will also help you avoid potential legal problems. Many employees deal with ethical dilemmas every day. Taking credit for others’ accomplishment, skipping work hours to do something different, are just a few of the non-ethical behavior examples. Stay alerted and be a role model.

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