How would you feel if you found out that one of your engineering partnership firm’s members has been stamping house plans knowing that they are not sound?
Or that your most trusted sales person has been selling extended warranties that are not in compliance with consumer law?
You know how hard it was (and still it every day) to build your business. And you know that you can’t play with the law if you want to be able to sleep at night. You are aware of how serious and expensive workplace misconduct can be, but are your partners and employees?
According to research, the truth about workplace misconduct is that it is not about people. There are very few people that wouldn’t find a legal back door if 1.) This is the norm in the environment (i.e. if everyone steals office supplies, they are very likely to do it, too); and 2.) They are not aware of the severe consequences.
The most common reason for workplace misconduct is that employees do not feel personal responsibility. Most of the times, if something goes wrong, it is the company that will go to court or will have to deal with the complaint.
In addition, many rules and regulations are industry-specific and new employees rarely know them. More than the half of employees that have conducted wrong behavior say that they wouldn’t have taken such action if they were aware of how severe the consequences could be for the company.
The rest of the respondents say that “everybody is doing it” and that’s why they think misconduct is the norm.
Researches have clearly identified the two main reasons and advise businesses with the following
Solutions to workplace misconduct:
1. Peer pressure
The most common reason for people to be involved in professional misconduct is that they see the same behavior around them. This is especially detectable with new employees who still learn how things are done in the business.
If they see misconduct around, they accept it as the normal behavior (even if they didn’t do it at their previous workplace). However, if they see criticism against professional misconduct and that integrity is valued and awarded, they will be more likely to stick to the rules and legal regulations.
This is also a way to change behaviors – employees arrive with the expectations to be shown how things are done at the new workplace. If this is done properly from the start, they will easily abandon destructive habits.
2. Legal training
Legal training is not only a way of educating employees on what’s okay and what isn’t, but a strong tool for building a culture of integrity.
If everyone is openly educated in the legal matters surrounding the business this shows the whole staff that management cares about being ethical.
In turn this creates the same behaviors and values in employees. So legal training becomes a tool for achieving even more important results than simply education – it creates culture. With more people aware of the importance of the law, peer pressure starts to take a strong stand.
Workplace misconduct can be reduced to zero with the right legal training creating a culture of honesty and high ethics.
Professional misconduct is a serious problem for your business especially if you are a partnership, small business or a startup. For you, reputation is key. You can’t afford having questionable ethics when you are trying to build a brand name and a sustainable company.
Educating is key to stopping misconduct and creating a culture in which integrity is valued.
Need to train new and old employees in the legal matters surrounding your business? Click here.
Want to Learn More About Making Business Law Work In Your Advantage?
And I want to give you a FREE eBook that will help you start off on the right foot with business law, save money on legal fees, avoid legal trouble and create a legally sexy business.
Want it? Get the ebook here.