7 tips to create an ethical workplace environment

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2019

More employees across the globe are feeling pressure to cut corners and be unethical, according to a survey conducted in 2018 by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative. The Global Business Ethics Survey also reported that one in five employees felt they needed to compromise their standards in the workplace. As a business setting, long-term healthcare is not immune to ethics and compliance compromises that could put employees and those they care for in dangerous circumstances. Known as the “Mega Rule,” the Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities mandates that long-term care facilities have a compliance and ethics program. The enforcement date of this requirement is November 28, 2019.
An environment where ethical misconduct and non-compliance are tolerated or ignored is detrimental to residents and the facility. An unethical environment can lead to increased turnover rates, lower productivity, deficiencies, fines and a diminished reputation. Placing an emphasis on ethics is crucial to supporting residents’ well-being and keeping your facility from falling victim to pitfalls such as deficiencies.
Here are seven tips to create a more ethical environment in the workplace:
1. Have a code. It’s important to establish an understanding of what being ethical means in your facility and what its goals are, and your responsibilities to your stakeholders, i.e. residents, families, etc. Whether it’s a Code of Conduct, policies, or an extensive ethics program, the ethical beliefs of the organization must be clearly stated.
2. Teach the code. Make time to regularly train staff about your facility’s ethical code and your expectations of them. Communicate often about your ethical standards and evaluate them periodically to ensure they are effective and relevant.
3. Follow the code. Establishing standards for a facility is only half the battle. Leadership and employees must be committed to regularly following ethical standards. The code must go beyond being mere words and become part of a way of thinking.
4. Ask HR for help. Human Resources is the best place to go for creating an ethical environment. They are influencers and gatekeepers. They can champion ethics codes and programs and act as guardians against unethical behavior and conduct.
5. Start from the top. Long-term care staff members look to the behavior of their supervisors, administrators and other executive leaders as the gauge of what’s acceptable behavior in the workplace. When management acts ethically, it sends a positive message to all employees.
6. Create a safe space. Provide procedures for staff to safely discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behavior without fear of retaliation or reprimand.
7. Reward and punish. Make ethics part of your employee evaluations. Reward staff who act ethically and punish those who commit unethical acts.
The Compliance Store’s Compliance & Ethics Binder Basics is a go-to resource for building and improving a compliance and ethics program specifically for the long-term care setting. We also have policies and tools to help create a more ethical environment. For more information go to: www.thecompliancestore.comor call 1-877-582-7347 to get started with your subscription today!

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