Common Unethical Business Practices To Avoid

The words "business ethics" written in blue

According to a study that was lead by the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) in Washington, D.C., half of the people who are employed in the U.S. witnessed some ethical misconduct. Because this is so frequent, today we will see the most common unethical business practices you should avoid.

Most Common Unethical Business Practices in the U.S. and Not Only

1. Being Abusive

Whether we are talking about coworkers or people on an inferior position, there are plenty of managers and supervisors who are abusive. They disrespect the rest of the people and discriminate. The biggest problem here is the fact that unless their behavior is obviously triggered by ethnicity, gender or race, you don’t have a legal basis to protect yourself.

2. Polluting the Environment

Even though this isn’t among the first examples that come to mind about common unethical business practices, it’s still something that shouldn’t exist. In the recent years, there have been plenty of cases where companies dumped pollutants into the water or didn’t clean their own mess. Releasing toxins into the air is also regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance.

3. Employee Theft

Employee theft is something that happens more often than you think. A study made by Jack L. Hayes International showed that one of 40 employees in 2012 has been caught stealing. Employee fraud isn’t something exactly ethical, since it clashes with the duties required by the employer. Whether we’re talking about not recording sales, tampering checks or manipulating other records, it’s still theft/fraud.

4. Not Paying the Employees

This is another problem with some employers. Some bosses tend not to pay their employees for all the hours they worked. Even though this might help the business thrive, it’s still unethical. Moreover, there are legal instruments that help the employees defend themselves against such a behavior.

5. Lying to Employees

The goal of a business is to have a coherent team that works together for achieving the common goals. If the managers or bosses lie to their employees, there will be a climate of mistrust in the company. People can’t work well together if they don’t trust each other. Moreover, a general feeling of insecurity and lack of information can lead to people leaving the company, which is something nobody wants.

6. Violating the Internet Policies

So many people surf the Web instead of working that this phenomenon got a name on its own: cyberslacking or cyberloafing. This practice costs companies lots of billion dollars every year. A survey that was conducted by Salary.com showed that every day, 64% of the employees navigate on websites that are unrelated to their work.

Conclusion

The ethical ramifications of our day to day activities may escape us. However, there are some common unethical business practices that can be really damaging. Whether they affect us, our colleagues, bosses, or external elements such as the environment, it’s important to be aware of them and fight against them. For some, there are special committees or organizations that fight them, but not for all of them. One solution to all these is to respect our own work ethic and not to follow the practices mentioned above.

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Author: Amanda Knowles

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