In the United States there are roughly 120 million people going to work each day. In 2015 a survey conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics Resource Center found that nearly half of those 120 million people had personally witnessed a form of ethical misconduct (Schwartz,2015). This is a staggeringly high number in my opinion ad raise some questions such as; what are people doing?, Why are they doing unethical things in their work place? and lastly are they being reported?
The top 5 ethical misconducts identified by Arthur Schwartz’s Article in the work place are:
Misusing company time, this could be something as simple as showing up late and not changing the time card to reflect the tardy. Misusing time could be an employee is making personal phone calls to help them potentially make a deal outside of the business on company time as well.
Abusive Behavior, or mangers misuse of power. using their position of authority the manger mistreat or disrespect their employees and can cause mistrust and anguish amongst employees.
Employee theft is a big one. One out of every 40 employees in 2012 where caught stealing from their employer (Schwartz,2015). Employees steal on average $586 more then a shoplifter, and employee theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States according to the FBI. Some forms of theft are taking home items from work, manipulating timecards, tampering with checks, etc…
Lying to employees, employers lie to their employees on a regular basis. This causes a massive distrust between the management and the employees one in every 5 employees reported their supervisor had lied to them (Schwartz).
Violating company internet policies is our last ethical misconduct. Cyberslackers is a huge problem for companies and is costing US companies millions in lost time. employees are surfing the web or playing on the computers when they should be working. A survey conducted recently by Salary.com found that everyday at least 64 percent of employees visit websites that have nothing to do with their work.
So now we know what employees are doing that are unethical and that others are witnessing. Its time to look at are employees stepping up and saying something or reporting this unethical behavior. Out of the 60 million employees that reported seeing unethical behavior only 50 percent of them reported this to management (Shreve, 2005). Most of this is because employees are afraid of the lash back from “tattling”, as well as a feeling that it is not significant or that their effort is not going to change anything.
I feel that if companies were to adopt the APA ethical code that some of these ethical situation will be limited. The APA code was designed for Psychologist to hold them to a high ethical standard. The code speaks on benefiting others, avoid hurting others, building trust, fulfilling obligations, work truthful, work fair, and respect other peoples rights and dignity (PSU, 2018). Why shouldn’t companies want to hold their employees to the same standards. These standards are good for all parties and look out of the best interest in people and the companies. Each company could set up a committee that would take the reports and investigate the accused based on the ethical standards that are laid out in the APA code. This code would give employers clean guidelines, and more strict guidelines to hold their employees accountable for their actions. Most companies have some form of ethical code but I feel using a highly regarded code could save companies millions in lost time or stolen property. I also believe that creating a comfortable atmosphere to report misconducts is important. building trust among employees and employers is huge and would go along way. let standardize being good ethical employees and employers.
PSU,PSY 533 (2018). L05: APA Ethics Code. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1896721/modules
Schwartz, Arthur. (2015) Jan. 26,The 5 most common unethical behaviors in the workplace. Philadelphia Business Journal retrieved from: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/guest-comment/2015/01/most-common-unethical-behaviors-in-the.html
Shreve, Meg (2005) Oct. 14, Many ethics violations go unreported. Market Watch retrieved from: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/correct-many-ethics-violations-go-unreported