Deloitte released a post today on their Risk and Compliance blog about the Ways to Build Strong Ethical Cultures. It raises a number of interesting issues, in particular that ethical cultures are built on relationships. It is about having the right attitude and trust with stakeholders and especially with company employees. The post quotes 4 principles for ethical cultures:
- Consistently model ethical behaviors, with a premium on honesty and courage.
- Give paramount loyalty not to any person in an institution, but to the institution itself and its stakeholders. This is a difficult concept to execute because everyone has at least one boss.
- Foster high-quality relationships based on respect and decency.
- Bear in mind at all times the differences between facts, experiences and stories: Facts are objectively verifiable, experiences are subjective but real, and stories are what we make of facts and experiences.
Ethics should be about relationships and the most important may be to the company and its Mission, Vision and Values. Ethical behavior needs to be modeled, but the ethics that are modeled, need to be the company’s. Properly communicating and modeling the character of the company not only gives employees a target to which to aspire, but it also provides a framework of permissions, within which employees should feel safe working. These targets and permissions will help in building up a healthy company culture.