Employees at all levels need to know why ethics and integrity are important to their organisation, and why and how incorporating ethics into their decision-making is relevant to their jobs.

Ethics training raises awareness of what is acceptable business practice and where support can be found, for example, in the code of ethics.

Ethics training also aims to raise the ethical sensitivity of staff so that they know when a decision they are faced with involves an ethical choice. It can provide them with the skills for working through a situation for which the right thing to do is unclear. Some companies provide training on specific ethics challenges viewed as a risk to the business such as human rights and bribery and corruption.

Some tips for effective ethics training:

  • Consider embedding ethical challenges and standards into all training programmes in the organisation, e.g. purchasing, management, sales.
  • Ensure that all levels of staff, including the board, are trained to understand the importance of ethical values, and how to use the code of ethics to support decision-making.
  • E-learning can be a cost effective way to train a large number of staff in the shortest available time. However, face-to-face training has the biggest impact on behaviours. In-person training provides the opportunity to delve deeply into the issues and participants can share what the scenarios really mean to them. 
  • Scenarios are an effective training mechanism because they link learning to real life and the experiences of the participants. This connection is the key to creating the motivation to learn and embed the message of the training.
     

Sample scenarios: what would you do?

Dilemma: Recycling
Dilemma: Recycling

This dilemma addresses issues of conflicts of interest, environmental responsibility and duty of confidentiality.

Dilemma: Stressed
Dilemma: Stressed

This dilemma addresses the issues of fraud and false accounting.

Dilemma: Delivery dates
Dilemma: Delivery dates

This dilemma addresses issues of workplace pressures, delivery of work and reputation.

Dilemma: Overheard on a train
Dilemma: Overheard on a train

This dilemma addresses issues of confidentiality and inside information.

Dilemma: Tickets for the rugby final
Dilemma: Tickets for the rugby final

This dilemma addresses issues of conflicts of interest, and gifts and hospitality.

Dilemma: Girly Gossip
Dilemma: Girly Gossip

This dilemma addresses issues of personal relationships at work and harassment & bullying.

 

Useful resources