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Organisational Behaviours To Support Sustainable Solutions

Release Date

25 January 2013

In today’s workplaces it is reasonable to expect managers are responsible for ensuring employees are aware of the organization's values, mission, ethics, expectations and what the organization views as right or wrong behaviour in the workplace. 
Behavioural role modeling as a leadership theory supports the concept a manager's behaviour will influence his or her employees. Accordingly, consistent examples of ethical and respectful behaviour will create working environments that are motivating and inspiring with high morale where workers undertake and implement their workplace roles and responsibilities in a productive and coordinated manner.  

Moreover, adherence to ethical and respectful behaviours can create sustainability for the organization that supports economies of scale in challenging and complex environments.

Strengths of the approach

While some people may view workplace standards of behaviour as ways for organizations to micromanage their employees, these standards have both strengthening and leveraging purposes. For example, if the organization has a Code of Conduct, this generally protects employees from issues such as harassment, discrimination, equal opportunity, bullying and grievances.
In practice, by outlining what types of relational behaviours are acceptable in the workplace, organisation’s can decrease the potential for workplace threats safely and reasonably.  

However, risky behaviour in the workspace can have risky impacts. Therefore, having established codes of conduct in the workplace reduces organizational liability and creates a safer environment for employees throughout their employment life cycle.  

As employees are inducted to these behaviours and codes, and align their own values with them, cultural change commences and develops which is ultimately what organisations work towards in augmenting their attraction, retention and competitive edge strategies. 

Employee Ethics

Generally speaking if you work for an organization, you play by their rules. In other words you’re either in or out of the team.   By entering into employment with an organization, employees are pledging to abide by expected codes of conduct.

One of the most critical and controversial examples of employee behaviour standards in the workplace today has to do with how ethics dominate the working horizon and how it can be embedded with the employee psyche, which supports the organization to grow, prosper and be even more productive.

Ethically and professionally speaking, organisations require employees to adhere to codes of conduct which foster agreements stating for example “employees will not participate in professional or personal behaviours that jeopardize the moral standards of an organization”.

The latter enables organisations to demonstrate support for their employees, and furthermore makes the employee accountable for their actions.
It also serves as a path for employees to take and enables them to understand what the organisation expects behaviourally, as well as their ethical expectations.  

Reasonable Steps 

Depending on the organization's internal processes, employees who violate the standards of behaviour, and participate in actions against the codes of conduct and ethical codes, may be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action in terms of not adhering to the organisations standards behaviourally will be relative to the severity of the violation. If the violation is minor, sometimes the employee will receive a warning.  

Reasonable practices in organisations today is to have clauses in their codes of conduct which identify ‘zero tolerance’ for unethical, dishonest and illegal behaviors. However, if a violation is severe enough, suspension or even termination may be the end result.
If you need more information on organisational behaviours please contact Larry Forsyth, Senior Manager WHS & HR Consulting on 1800 505 529 or email larry.forsyth@australianbusiness.com.au

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