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Create/Upgrade Your Code of Workplace Behavioral Ethics and Code of Conduct

Although Ethics and Compliance matters are usually paired together, compliance is a legal
function of business that addresses regulations, statues, etc.

Compliance is what a business has to do. Ethics are what a business chooses to do.

Toxic Culture Drove "the Great Resignation"

"A toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry-adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover. Our analysis found that the leading elements contributing to toxic cultures include failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior. In an upcoming article, we will dive deeper into each of these factors and examine different ways managers and employees can spot signals of toxic culture. For now, the important point is that a toxic culture is the biggest factor pushing employees out the door during the Great Resignation."

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review, January 11, 2022. 

"Research in behavioral ethics finds that people are far from completely rational. Most ethical choices are made intuitively, by feeling, not after carefully analyzing a situation. Usually, people who make unethical decisions are unconsciously influenced by internal biases, like the self-serving bias, by outside pressures, like the pressure to conform, and by situational factors that they do not even notice."

- Ethics Unwrapped, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin

Creating/Upgrading your Workplace Behavioral Ethics Code of Conduct is a process that clearly guides all employees in honorable engagement with one another as well as management and leadership and all your company's stakeholders in a manner that is reflective of your businesses' transparently lived mission, vision and values that can effectively address potential behavioral ethics issues well before they become internal and public disasters. Now more than ever, the conduct and decision-making processes within your company are highly visible in a globally connected society. Both facts and mis-information travel at lightning speed, and the costs of an unethical culture are not just financial. 

You can be ethical yet not have a workplace culture that works together. Even if you have a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) policy, if it doesn't address the underlying socio-political-cultural issues, biases, and discriminatory behaviors that adversely impact diverse groups of human beings, it's just a "check the box" initiative. Your Code of Ethical Workplace Conduct is the place where you define and shape what you stand up for - and what is unacceptable - and ensure there are no "grey areas."

A Leadership, Team and Workplace Culture Behavioral Ethics analysis that is tailored to your unique

business is more effective than a "check the box" self-report.

However, some questions are universal, such as:

≈ What are your (or your organization's) core values? What is non-negotiable?  Are there ethical compromises are you've been willing to justify making, and where do you draw the line? 

≈ Does your organization transparently and authentically "walk its talk"?

≈ Have you or your organization ever "gotten away" with doing something unethical? What did you tell yourself to justify doing so? How did that make you feel?

≈ Is your workplace environment psychologically safe for all employees?


 Are employees are protected from retaliation when reporting ethical violations?

≈ Are you able to adapt to change and train all employees in internal and external stress readiness, responsiveness, and resiliency skills?  

≈ Is your culture change mindset  reactive - or change responsive

≈ Is power being used ethically?

≈ Is there a collective leadership mindset that invests in a deliberately developmental approach to employee growth, innovation, performance and productivity?


≈ Are the same old status quo programs, gumming up your company's Internal Operating System, and opening you up to unnecessary risks, burnout, high turnover, and even retaliation-driven unethical behavior from dissatisfied employees and stakeholders?

≈ Is your employee wellness program actually working to increase your employees' "whole person" well-being - or is it a wasted investment and useless gesture in terms of positive, integrated and sustainable behavioral habit changes?

​​≈ Are youpsychologically safe person to be around? In other words: can people speak up and/or give you feedback with honesty and candor without fear of your wrath or humiliation?


​​≈  Can you openly admit when you are wrong about something? How do you treat those who have admittedly made mistakes? Do you view apologizing as weak - or as an act of power? 

≈ Think about critical decisions you've made that seriously affected your life and/or organization, and possibly the lives of others. Are you happy with what you chose? Why or why not? Where are the points where you would have made different decisions if you could do it again? What would you have done?

Your Organization's Workplace Behavioral Ethics Code of Conduct

Must Reflect its Internal Operating System

Regardless of whether your organization's current code of ethical, honorable and harmonious workplace conduct needs an upgrade, or you're a start-up that doesn't yet have a formal Code of Conduct crafted that defines it both internally and to the publicmy approach is holistic, synergistic and comprehensive and not "one size fits all."

Please contact me for more details and to determine if we are a good fit.

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