Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ethical Issues at Work…Now What?

Review the Evidence: Avoid jumping to conclusions. Keep notes about the situation including conversations and situations where you suspected unethical work behavior? Keeping track of what you see can help you form a conclusion and provides invaluable documentation if you decide to report the situation.

Seek Help: Get a second opinion from an outside source or someone you can trust. Although be wary of who you confide in, and be wary of politics.

Confront the Problem: In some cases you may want to talk directly to the person. Don’t make accusations. One drawback of confronting the person involved is that they may get you more involved in the ethical issue. In some cases, the evidence will lead you to take it directly to authorities.

Extricate yourself: If you believe the unethical behavior is continuing “get out”. Careers will recover with a switch but they won’t recover from unethical practice if you before a part of it. Leaving isn’t a decision to be made lightly. It may be difficult to find another job. While jumping ship may require an awkward conversation or revised career plan, sometimes you have no choice but to leave.

Blow the Whistle: After you’ve decided to leave you have to decide if you’ll report the issue. Whistle blowing can be hurtful to the messenger in many cases. A serious analysis of the pros and cons must be conducted before reporting an ethical issue if you think if could hurt you or possibly a client. As difficult as turning in a former boss or coworker may be, it is occasionally necessary. If something really horrible is going on and you simple walk away, you’re compromising your own sense of professional responsibility.