Why Is There Unethical Behavior in the Workplace?

Unethical behavior exists in the workplace because some staff members willingly break the rules of ethics, and others are misinformed on proper practices. Some employees engage in cutthroat tactics to obtain valuable promotions in a highly competitive work environment. Employees who lack the proper knowledge of what constitutes ethical behavior are more likely to engage in wrongful behavior.

According to the Network for Business Sustainability, an employee’s ethical behavior is driven by a variety of factors. Employees who feel pressured to meet company demands may engage in bad behavior to get ahead. Others may break ethical commitments if their actions remain unknown by others. When unethical behavior becomes a problem, the entire company suffers.

Establishing high employee morale and encouraging upright behavior is essential for raising ethical standards in the workplace. The human resources department can help educate staff members on proper ethical practices so they can learn what actions and behaviors are unacceptable. Supervision is also essential to assure that employees and leaders within a company are ethically and legally compliant with local and state rules and regulations. Supervision is important for diverting unethical behavior, but unethical behavior is less likely to occur in companies where an employee is encouraged to report negative experiences. Correcting employees is essential for reducing the prevalence of unethical actions in the work environment.