Promoting ethical behavior in the workplace is important, because it has a huge impact on the image of the company. An organization is represented by its people, and their actions will definitely reflect on the company.

Employees must know how to make the right ethical decisions. They must display proper conduct when dealing with clients, management, and each other.

How to train employees to behave ethically

Make ethical standards known

Your employees need to have a clear understanding of the standards of behavior the company adheres to. It’s difficult to expect them to behave a certain way when they don’t know what they should and shouldn’t do. This is usually done right after someone gets hired, during an official orientation.

Lead by example

It’s management’s role to lead by example. The old adage “walk the talk” applies here.

Staff members usually follow the examples set forth by management, so it’s best to train your supervisors first. Make them accountable by holding regular discussions. Schedule meetings with the rest of the team so management can verbalize their expectations to the staff. At the same time, the company has to provide avenues to discuss any ethical issues and work out solutions when there are violations.

The important thing here is that everyone has to be on the same page. Employees need to feel like they can trust the management to be accountable with their actions.

Reward those who adhere to the company’s ethical standards

It’s unfortunate that ethical behaviors are rarely recognized.

To encourage everyone to act ethically, make sure that good deeds are rewarded. It can be as simple as announcing it to everyone. A little recognition can boost an employee’s confidence and motivate him or her to continue doing what’s right. At the same time, it inspires others to follow suit.

Be transparent and encourage openness among employees

Trust is a motivating factor for employees. When they trust the company, they won’t have problems working hard and going beyond what’s expected of them. This is achieved by being transparent.

Be honest with them. While there are things you can’t disclose to employees, a certain degree of transparency will make them feel secure. Also, encourage them to be open about anything. Hold regular meetings, or take your employees out for lunch or dinner once in a while. A more informal setting can help them open up about concerns or questions they’d normally hold back during meetings.

Hire the best trainers and staff

A staff is only as good as its trainer -so hire the best people to teach your employees what to do and how to behave.

You can easily find organizations that offer tutoring in various recreational activities, which will keep employees fulfilled and inspired.

It’s also important that trainers remind employees of what’s at risk when they veer away from the ethical standards. Letting them know of the consequences of bad behavior is a good way to keep them from making bad decisions.

Strive to provide employees with work-life balance

Unhappy employees are often unproductive employees. To combat this, try implementing rules that will keep your employees happy with their jobs. Don’t make them feel like all they do is work. Allow them to enjoy their lives.

Allow for vacations, short trips, and team building activities, for example. It can also help if the office environment is conducive and relaxing. Find ways to make your employees enjoy being at work. Establish game rooms, areas in the office where they can relax, or even an outside basketball court, so they can shoot hoops. A great example is Google’s office facilities.

These tips should help any company owner better train employees to behave ethically.

Ultimately, it all boils down to what you value. Tap into that and teach those working for you. Remember that a good group of people is always going to deliver the best results.


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