On sharing ethical decisions

It is in the best interest of employees to do what is expected of them. Thus, whether we realize it or not, they watch our every move and word to understand what is important to their leaders. What we say about ethics and compliance and how we make decisions will impact employees’ behavior.

Rather than keeping them guessing, the ethical leader will share the decisions she has made. A great way to do this is to hold an open forum where employees can ask question about the ethical dilemmas they face. These meetings can be in person, over the phone, or via webcast. The leader will open the meeting with a story of a recent dilemma and how it was resolved, and then open it up for questions about the story or any other issue.

When done on a regular basis, these meetings send a clear message about the importance of doing the right thing. The associated transparency builds trust in the leadership and the lessons provide guidance to the employees.

Today, think of an ethical decision you made recently. Consider the best way to share that decision with your team. Then take the plunge. It may be one of the best meetings you’ve had all year.

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