Workplace Ethics Training - Deception

Category: Ethics
Posted: 01-25-2013 10:09 PM
Views: 2285
Synopsis: Deception is one of the most important workplace ethics training topics. Deception includes a number behaviors that are perpetrated to improve the position of an individual employee or for the organization as a whole. The following are the most common types of deception in the workplace.

Deception is one of the most important workplace ethics training topics.  Deception includes a number behaviors that are perpetrated to improve the position of an individual employee or for the organization as a whole.  The following are the most common types of deception in the workplace.

• Falsifying company documents to pass inspections by your organization or by local, state or federal government officials. This ethical violation has several repercussions. Inspections are done for a variety of reasons – safety, efficiency, quality control, quality of service and more. Falsifying company documents puts your organization at risk for a myriad of problems - all of which could destroy the company’s reputation and many could result in lawsuits, fines and even government shut down. In addition, falsifying documents to pass inspections could put co-workers at risk for serious injury and even death. Group Question: Ask your participants to name the various ways your organization could suffer by falsifying documents to pass inspections.

• Lying to or misleading customers about the attributes of your organization’s products or services or the ability to deliver those products and services. This ethical violation might result in immediate gratification but the long term affects on an organizational reputation could be severe. If your organization cannot meet deadlines or your products don’t deliver what they promise, your customers will lose trust in you. They will also tell others. With social networking a bad review or complaint could be seen by thousands and have permanence in cyberspace.

• Falsifying the results of research and development to benefit your organization or to further your own personal career. This type of deceit can have a lasting negative effect on your organization’s reputation and your career. Falsifying scientific research could result in civil or criminal lawsuits and permanently ruin an employee’s career. It could also put innocent, unsuspecting consumers at risk for injury, illness and death. Falsifying data in surveys or sales research might lead to temporary gratification but will eventually be discovered and lead to disciplinary actions including termination.

• Over-promising results in order to gain support for a project or for personal advancement within an organization. Once again, this deceit will only result in temporary gains. The organization might invest considerable dollars into a project based on an employee’s recommendation and when the results are not what were promised it could result in diminished personal and or company reputation as well as loss in company profits.

• Destroying sensitive company documents and emails that could be harmful in the case of audits, reviews and litigation. There are very specific rules governing document retention and destruction. In many cases, documents need to be kept for 3 years or longer. Consulting with your human resources, management or legal department is imperative before destroying or deleting any data. Data destruction could result in large fines, the loss of court cases and in disciplinary action against the employee who destroyed the data. Important Point! Document Retention is an extremely complex topic. The laws are different between industries and in addition the law varies between local, state and federal governments. The best rule of thumb in dealing with document retention is to hold on to the data until you have received advice from an expert.

Deception is a crucial part of workplace ethics training.  Make sure that your organization trains it's employees thoroughly on how to avoid deception and the repercussions of deceptive behavior. 

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