In general, "Ethics" refers to the set of beliefs and morals that guides a person's behavior and decisions inside and outside the workplace. Our ethics usually determine our approach towards certain situations at work and shape the judgments we make about people and situations.
Why are Work Ethics important in the workplace?
• Enable leaders to lead their teams more effectively:
When the leader follows respectful work ethics, it is expected of the team to follow them while being confident in the contributions they are making to the organization as a whole.
• Instill confidence and facilitate the leaders’ mission:
Leaders and managers gain confidence and support from their peers and employees when acting respectfully. Therefore, having crystal-clear ethical rules, and following them, enhances credibility among individuals in the workplace.
• Improve decision making:
The professional decision-making ability builds upon personal and work ethics, as it differentiates between right and wrong and facilitates the decision-making process.
• Establish standards of conduct:
Ethics help set an appropriate standard for the behavior of individuals in the workplace and in life in general, where ethics shape the moral behavior of a person, enabling them to make sound decisions based on their moral nature.
• Support self-motivation:
People with solid and good moral principles are often self-motivated, willing to go the extra mile to accomplish tasks or goals efficiently and effectively.
Differences between personal and professional principles
There are some key differences between personal and professional ethics. The main difference is that personal ethics refer to an individual’s beliefs and values in any area of life, while professional ethics refer to a person’s values within the workplace.
An example of following personal ethics
When a person chooses to return a wallet which he/she has found on the floor, rather than keeping it for himself/herself, out of his/her honesty.
An example of following professional ethics
When the same person returns the wallet to his/her co-worker because the Code of Conduct prohibits stealing.
Finally, "when looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. If you don't have the first, the other two will kill you." - Warren Buffett