The Consequence of Unethical Business Behavior

The sad truth is that almost every company has individuals that partake in unethical behaviour for their personal benefit or supported by the company. Unethical behaviour might be as simple as using company property and time for personal benefit to inside trading and financial fraud. Many companies sadly make it part of their operational policy to cut corners, accept and give kick-backs in order to get juicy contracts and maximize profit.

In today’s business environment, the line between right and wrong is fade.  Workers with high moral standard are helpless against unethical behaviour they notice in their colleagues, and to make it worse, many unethical conducts go unpunished because of legal insignificance.  An employee working for an employer or company with unethical, deceptive, and dishonest conduct will be directly affected physically and mentally, and may even come down with emotional and health related problems because of it.

Workers involved in unethical practices are almost always directly or indirectly held accountable for their actions.  Even though they may not be found guilty by any court of law, the physiological impact of immoral acts leads to intense mental and physical stress. When a company is found guilty of financial improprieties, the workers undergo a series of questions from investigators and if they were found to be involved, they may be blacklisted or their professional license revoked. Many workers involved in immoral behavior may not know the source of anxiety or other health issues, but the human conscience has a strong effect on our physical and mental stability.

Unethical behavior in a company can also;

–    Harm sales of goods, as customers may boycott goods produced by a company known for unethical behavior.

–    Lead to a drop in stock price. Investors will be unwilling to buy shares from companies known to transact business dishonestly. Investing in dishonest firms will result in poor returns.

Immoral dealings amongst individuals or in a company builds a work atmosphere of malice and mistrust. Workers tend to go further down the drain when they are surrounded with people who practice the same. This will lead to lower productivity, promote conflict, and subsequently cripple the company.

Many workers are hesitant to turn in their colleagues involved in unethical practices. It is up to the company to manage unethical practices by creating processes that stem the tide.  It should be part and parcel of the company’s policy, well documented, and new workers should be briefed on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ in respect to the company’s policy on unethical conduct.

There should be a process that a worker who finds a colleague involved in unethical activities can follow ( this normally involves a list of who the worker should contact and how to react, and if possible incentives should be given to make the process more efficient).  The entire process should focus on the anonymity of the employee who turns in the unwanted behavior.  Employees should also know that there will be repercussions for their actions and disciplinary measures will always be taken, no matter what the circumstances, on those guilty of unethical conduct.