Tips for Ensuring Ethical Behavior at Work

“One of the true tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”
Chinua Achebe

  1. Do the right thing and help others do the right thing too.
  2. Take responsibility for your actions and encourage other to take responsibility for their actions.
  3. Be a Role Model. We learn from each other.  Working with integrity and ethically  positively affects colleagues and the work environment.  It is especially important for managers to set the right tone and do the right thing.
  4. Follow the Golden Rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
  5. When In Doubt, Ask. If you aren’t sure an action is permissible or if an activity in your work, ask a colleague, manager, HR, compliance or ethics officer.
  6. Disclose.  It is important to disclose any potential ethical breach or possible conflict of interest.
  7. Be Informed. Keep informed of policy changes and laws in your field.
  8. Trust Your Feelings.  If a situation feels uncomfortable or wrong, check it out.
  9. Respect Differences. We are all different.  Respect other’s culture, language, history, and ask questions and listen when you don’t understand either someone’s behavior.

I’ll be adding more to this section and welcome contributions and suggestions.


What changes to cause dedicated employees to betray company confidences?  What causes patriots to commit treason?

Many organizations have policies on the sharing of non-public information.  What changes within an organization’s culture for its employees to betray confidences?  What changes within a one-time dedicated staff member to rationalize the sharing of such documents?

The illegal disclosure of documents published on Wikileaks is an extreme case of inappropriate disclosure, one that can damage relations between governments, cause wars and one that puts a great many lives in danger.  What I would like to examine is the transformation of committed staff into a secret enemy of the corporation.