Ethical communication occurs when it is honest, open, fair and mindful of all employees' rights. It is not surprising that the management of a business could play a pivotal role to set the example to employees. They should lead by example, reward ethical behaviour as well as create an awareness of ethics in general. The corporate values of the business are imperative in that they guide the ethical behaviour of employees. It is important for employees to understand the difference between right and wrong behaviour in the workplace. Business' values are usually related but not limited to human rights, employee development, health and safety, discrimination and respect for others as well as working conditions.
How can a manager instill ethical communication practices in the business? By, for example:
- creating an awareness of the values of the business through continuous communication
- having ethical roundtable discussions with employees
- blog postings on the business' website regarding the ethical aspirations of the business
- a whistleblower hotline where any unethical behaviour can be reported anonymously
- having a code of conduct which is accessible to all employees
- making ethical communication an imperative part of the business' internal communication strategy
By communicating ethical conduct in the workplace, employees will be able to think responsibly, make the correct decisions as well as develop ethical relationships across channels, cultures and media.