They Do What You Do, Not What You Say

Information from a poll by the Ethics Resource Center has revealed that levels of business ethics are nearing pre-Enron levels.

Another poll by Junior Achievement and Deloitte reports that 41 percent of U.S. teens think that unethical behavior is necessary to advance while only 22 percent of teens held that point of view in 2005.

HR POINTER: When all the Annual Reports have been handed out and the speeches about the company are finished, the factor that drives the culture and subsequently ethical behavior of a firm is the personal example set by each member of senior management.

If executives verbally “trash” customers, employees will feel that they have implied permission to do the same about clients and even other employees.

If the leaders “pad” client invoices, employees will feel that they have tacit approval to “pad” other things including expense reports.

Despite what is said or what is put in writing, it is personal examples that everyone follows.  Set a good one!

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