I don’t really know how to talk about business ethics to my team.
This is a phrase that many ethics and compliance professionals have heard from front-line supervisors.
They are afraid of sounding preachy. Or of not knowing the answers. Or looking soft.
If you are one of these supervisors, here’s an easy way to start:
- Look for a recent ethical breach or scandal reported in the news.
- Gather your team and ask:
- Could this happen here? (hint: the answer is usually yes)
- If so, what would it look like (in this industry, this company, this department, this team)?
- How could we prevent it from happening?
- If we could not prevent it, how would we respond to it?
It’s a safe conversation because it didn’t happen to you (yet). Right now, it’s someone else’s problem. But it’s a real problem, not some hypothetical in an online course. And you are not pretending to know the answer – you are asking your team for their ideas on how to protect the company.
Do this on a regular basis, until it becomes comfortable and expected.
Then, like magic, you won’t need to initiate these conversations. Your team will bring them up on their own.
This post was originally published on The Ethical Leader and is reprinted here with permission.
Writing as “The Ethical Leader,” Yan Tougas draws on 15 years of experience as a compliance & ethics officer at a Fortune 500 company, sharing insights, wisdom and lessons learned. This post originally appeared on “The Ethical Leader” and is reprinted here with permission. Views expressed are that of the author. Visit him at YanTougas.com, connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.