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Ethics In The Workplace

QUESTION: How does time management relate to ethics in the workplace?


Ethics in the workplace are a set of principles consisting of “right conduct” which involves the basic moral principles of honesty and integrity. That means no lying, cheating, or stealing. Some companies may have standards of acceptable behavior written out, but in other companies the employees follow along with what they see those above them doing. Either way, there is a basic right-and-wrong type of behavior that people accept at their core, even if they don’t always practice what they believe.

Stealing and lying are unacceptable ethics in the work place, as they are anyplace else. Even though it may be common practice to take pencils, paper, coffee, creamer packets, and so on, this is technically stealing from the company

Stealing from a company on a larger scale, like taking company tools, or embezzling of funds will ultimately lead to dismissal of an employee and prosecution as well.

What does this have to do with time management? Before that question can be answered, we must ask another one. To whom does your time belong while you are at work? The obvious answer is, to the company. You have contracted that you will work for so many hours a day, and the company will pay you an agreed upon sum of money.

So, if an employee were to do his own thing on company time rather than taking care of company business, would he not be stealing? Since stealing is considered to be an improper ethic for the workplace, why should stealing of time be considered as anything other than unacceptable behavior?

How can a person steal time? Consistently arriving late for work a few minutes every day and quitting work a few minutes early is stealing time. Perhaps a person is at his work station when he is supposed to be, but wastes time by not starting right away, and quits working to just sit around waiting for quitting time. Taking and making personal phone calls is another way of stealing company time. While some companies have written policies in these matters, others do not. However if a person takes ethics in the workplace seriously, he will give to the company the hours required, putting himself whole-heartedly into the job, without the stealing of time.

The Bible says, “You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters. Do whatever they tell you--not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are harsh. For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment” (1 Peter 2:18-19).

“You slaves must obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Obey them willingly because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ” (Colossians 3:22-24).

Learn More About Workplace Ethics!

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