CURRENT ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE WORKPLACE
Ethics and honesty in the work place are everyone’s concerns, ethics involve ones moral obligation involving right and wrong. Currently in the work place there are ethical issues occur in daily activities of an organization, these issues have remedies to them, because they need to be resolved for smooth operations in an organization.
Sexual harassment- this is an ethical issue which has been in the work place and has risen lately. This in the past was mainly affecting women, where they were assaulted sexually, either through rape or exchange of sex for managerial favors but currently is also affecting men. Managers have been reported of taking advantage of their staff and using their position of power and influence to sexually harass their staff. This issue is degrading and demoralizing to those who are sexually assaulted, it can lead to reduced productivity in work as the sexually assaulted has lost motivation by being assaulted by the leader (manager) who is supposed to be their source of encouragement and motivation in the organization.
Managers who have been accused of sexually assaulting their staff have defended themselves by saying that the sexually assaulted member deserved the assault, they have also claimed that the act was led by the mode of dressing of the worker thus the worker deserved the assaults, which is not a justified excuse.
Managers and co-workers should never take any action that is not kind or that does not build the work place as a community, also one should not take an action which they wouldn’t wish to be taken on them.
Stealing and theft-stealing of company supplies is a current ethical issue in the work place. Supplies that are meant for company use have a number of times been reported missing yet they were there. Siphoning of fuel from company vehicles and using the fuel in personal cars or reselling the fuel to middlemen has also been affecting the work place. This has been done majorly be the staff in the organization but also some managers have been reported of stealing company supplies for their own use and benefits. Such acts leave an organization to suffer losses as what was budgeted for is not enough and restocking has to be done before the due period.
Workers who have been caught in involvement with stealing from the organization try to defend their actions by saying that they are entitled to indulge in such behavior because of their service to the organization, claiming that the organization owes them for their effort and contribution.
Co-workers should not be involved in activities that are not in the long term interest of the organization that they are in.
Lying on reports/Falsifying records-preparing false reports and doctored records is another ethical issue in the current work place. The presentation of false figures especially of financial information has been happening in the work place, this is done mainly to portray the organization as on which is on an upward trend, one which is making profits. This presents the wrong image of an organization, as it may attract investors who think that they are going to make big profits only to get disappointed by the results. This is done by workers who feel pressurized by top management to achieve results; they change the figures due to pressure. The fear that presenting low results may portray the organization as one which is performing poorly and workers as if they are not working their best and causing the firm to fail.
Workers who doctor records often do so when they feel that there is pressure from above.
Managers need to avoid putting pressure on their workers and know where to draw a line between motivation and undue pressure on their workers.
Alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace-the use of drugs and alcohol in the work-place has risen too; workers have been caught with alcohol and drugs in their work stations. The use of drugs and alcohol in the work place reduces the productivity of workers as it makes a worker work and reason slower than when they are sober.
The use of alcohol and drugs may also be a prime cause of other unethical issues in the work place that may be done by workers who are performing under the influence of drugs. Drug and alcohol users may be prompted to steal from the organization so that they can make extra money to spend on drug and alcohol. Workers using drugs and alcohol are also a potential source of sexual harassment in the work place; they may sexually harass others as their actions are not sober and well considered.
Workers who have been accused of abusing drugs and alcohol in the work place have defended themselves by saying that their actions hurt nobody and that the drugs or alcohol help them work better and focus more on work which is quite a lie; it is no brainer that drugs and alcohol lower a person’s concentration.
Workers should not do actions that are not in the long term interest of the organization.
Pollution-with the current growth rate of industries, pollution is also an ethical issue that is emerging .The poor management of waste by a company hence affecting its surrounding environment negatively. Pollution in form of effluence and noise from industrial organizations are ethical issues that need to be considered. Pollution by the company affects the surrounding community which depends on the environment for better living, water pollution in the rivers and lakes will kill the marine life thus affecting a fishing community that has fishing as their main economic activity.
Lack of proper waste management may be caused by poor leadership which is not concerned about the surrounding environment.
Workers and management should never take actions which violate the law because the law is the minimal moral standards of the society.
Gossip-where workers spend time talking about their co-workers, talk which is aimless and mostly spreading false information. Where workers spend time talking about other workers in the workplace this wastes much time which accounts for production time. Once personal information which at time may be false about someone is spread, this not only wastes time but also demoralizes the person whom the information regards. By demoralizing a worker they will not be able to work efficiently towards the organizations goals.
Workers who engage in gossip do have denied their responsibility by engaging in time wasting behavior, they perceive that they do not have any other choice than listen to whatever their fellow workers are telling them.
Workers should be honest and truthful and should not say information about someone which may lead to the person’s loss of self-esteem as this will affect the workers’ productivity at the work place.
These are the issues which have occurred in recent times at the work place. Such issues should be addressed by the organizations’ top management through establishing guidelines of dealing with the issues. They always affect the organization negatively by waste of time and reducing workers’ productivity. To solve these ethical issues workers and management should
Never take actions that do not reflect the long term goals and objectives of the company.
Always be open, honest and truthful and never take actions that they would not love being reported about them on national tv.
Never commit an action which is not kind and does not build the sense of the organization as a community.
They should also meet all government requirements; never take actions which violate the law as the law represents the moral standards of the society.
Never perform actions which harm the lees fortunate people in any way and should always apply distributive justice.
Should never perform actions which abridge the rights of other people around them.
Should always perform actions which are not for the greater good for the society rather than harm.
Never take actions which you would not like other people to take against you.
When applied by the whole organization, these will help the management in handling the current ethical issues at the work place.
RefferencesTerry, G. R. (1977). Principles of management (7th ed.). Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin.
Rendtorff, J. D. (2010). Power and principle in the market place on ethics and economics. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate.