Monthly Archives: April 2020

Apr 27

Ethical Leadership Returning to Work


Today’s Blog entry is from Everyday Ethics, a weekly video series where we address timely ethics topics. 

There’s no way around it………if you are a leader considering how to marshall your employees for a return to work, there are special challenges ahead.  Today, we will discuss the considerations of an ethical leader in starting up business again in the post-Covid world. What is your number one duty as an ethical leader?  It is taking care of your people.  So, how should we approach it?  With kindness ….. empathy …… respect, and integrity!  Right??

Your employees have been facing different difficult personal situations while they were furloughed or working from home, and we should respect that by not forcing employees back too soon for a variety of logistical and health reasons.  Many people are either in a high-risk category or have someone at home who is.  Others have children at home who must be cared for.  The respectful thing to do may be to let the employees decide when they are ready to return, and not force them back.  AND, we still don’t know the extent of employee screening that will be required by public health officials.  So, there are logistical issues that need to be addressed that might be served by slowly reintegrating employees.

We have a moral responsibility to give employees a safe place to return to.  Have you considered how employees will maintain social distancing, and the workplace is sanitized?  The office layout may need to be changed and staggered shifts employed to promote social distancing.  Special cleaning and sanitation procedures may need to be implemented.  Regardless,  OSHA and CDC guidelines should be followed for both legal and health reasons. 

Be honest with employees about how you are providing a safe working environment and explain their responsibility to provide themselves and fellow workers with the best chance of avoiding the virus.  We are all in this together, so let’s give ourselves the best chance of defeating this killer.

Apr 18

Ethics Amid the Pandemic

Compliance , Ethics , My Life Before Prison

I know there are huge pressures on every business to survive during this challenging crisis. But now is not the time to let your guard down and expose your company to financial or ethics scandals.

In solving the ethics enigma, I talk about being hijacked by outside pressures as one of those circumstances leading to unethical behavior.   Over the last six weeks, we’ve seen massive layoffs and pay cuts.  People are hurting, so the number one outside pressure for many people is financial.  Is it so hard to see where your employees may cross the proverbial line to make their quotas?  Bribery to get business is always a risk. What about padding product testing results to meet demand? 

As a kid, I remember the public service announcement, “Do you know where your children are?”, with the implication being, do you know what they are doing. 

So I ask you, do you know what your people are doing?  What is the ONE thing you can do RIGHT NOW to reduce risk and prevent a sudden revelation of a financial or ethics scandal in your organization?  This is the time to be talking to your direct reports and making sure their direct reports are talking to them to spot red flags.  This is not the time to sweep suspicious behavior under the rug.  Help your team make the right choices and stay out of prison.