Unethical Workplace Behaviour

The dictionary defines ethics as moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. Therefore, unethical workplace behavior means behaving in a manner that does not align with the moral principles of the workplace. Ethics are based on morals and choosing between the right or wrong. Unethical behavior would mean someone consistently choosing the wrong over the right. Every organization has its own laid down standards from which employees are expected to draw from and conduct themselves accordingly. Organizations create documents such as ¨Code of Conduct¨, ¨Employee Handbook¨ which are handed to each employee upon resumption of work. All of this in an attempt to build an organization where everyone is fully aware of the codes and the all follow it. However, just like every other human related project, it is always difficult to get everybody on one page. Hence, the existence of unethical behavior in the workplace. This is when employees act in manners disapproved by the organization. We find that employees, especially those that have been at the organization for a long period of time often attempt to use their in-depth knowledge of the system to take advantage of it. There is a wide array of examples, one is high-ranked officials passing off work done by those under them as theirs when reporting to those higher up in the organization. This is unethical because they pressure the low-ranked employees to work round the clock and present deliverables at a set deadline only to present those deliverables to their bosses as their work without giving those that actually did the work any credit. Another example of unethical workplace behavior is misuse of company hours and resources. This is more common among the lower officials in the organization.  Employees often get caught watching movies, using the company’s internet for non-company related purposes and more. The organization attempts to provide its workers with laptops, work tools and good internet. The intent here is to provide the employees with all they need to be productive for the company not to create a situation where one employee is binge-watching her favorite television series and another is checking what is trending on Twitter.

The effects of unethical workplace behavior are countless. However, from the two examples above, low morale and less productivity will be prevalent in workplaces where employees exhibit such behavior. In the first example, the low-ranked employee’s morale will continue to dwindle as he/she does all the work and never gets the credit. Likewise in the second example, employees who are not focused on the organization’s work while they are present in the workplace cannot produce at a satisfactory level not to mention above satisfactory.

In conclusion, unethical behavior should not be condoned in the workplace, employers must endeavor to correct every wrongdoing in the early stages in order to build an organization that boasts principled employees.

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