Five factors that explain the level of work integrity
The number of people losing their jobs due to violations in work ethics has been a disturbing trend for a long time. Though it is understood that there are always going to be those who violate work rules and regulations, the fact that large numbers of employees have been doing it has caused alarm among employers around the world. This has led to more detailed research on why employees violate rules and regulations at their workplaces.
Research has shown that the organizational ethical climate influences the work behavior of individuals. Employees who perceive their organizational ethical climate to be adhering to norms of prohibiting, discouraging, and punishing behaviors are more likely not to engage in unethical behavior themselves. However, employees whose organizations do not have clear expectations about certain behaviors are likely to engage in misconducts. Employees who reported having received negative feedback on their work performance are more likely to report engaging in behaviors that could potentially lead to loss pf licensure. This suggests that corrective feedback is an effective strategy for keeping workers from engaging in unprofessional conduct.
Prior research has also shown that personality factors such as agreeableness and conscientiousness are important in the explanation of workplace misconduct. For example, people who have a high level of work-related values and engage in goal setting for their hobs experience frustration when they fail to reach these goals. Consequently, they might engage in misconduct. Role stressors such as having many tasks and limited resources can increase the likelihood of employees to engage in unethical behavior. Low job satisfaction is also a predictor for engaging in workplace misconduct. This may be because individuals who are dissatisfied with their jobs may have lower morale and become more susceptible to engaging in misconduct.
Organizational strategies that can be used to improve this situation include, but are not limited to:
Developing a clear organizational ethical climate with high expectations
Employees should receive feedback about how they are doing at work, so they do not feel like they are failing their employers.
Companies should avoid creating work conditions which can be stressful for workers.
Organizations should have a clear reward system for workers who follow rules and punish those who do not.
Employers need to ensure that their organizations are not vulnerable through bad hiring practices. Companies should only hire employees after undertaking adequate background checks using reliable methods and tools.
According to the article “Workplace Misconduct Costs Businesses Billions” by Sarah Mahoney of Harvard Business Review, there are several other factors employers should be aware of when it comes to employees violating work rules and regulations. These include:
The need for clear communication about job expectations to all employees.
The need to ensure all employees understand the importance of adhering to company rules and regulations.
The importance of making sure that workers respect and trust their managers.
Employees should receive adequate training on how to handle difficult situations which come up in their jobs. Because many times, if an employee does not know exactly what is expected from them, they will act out in ways which can be unprofessional.
The need to provide support for employees who are given more work than they can handle. If an employee is overwhelmed with tasks or responsibilities, he/she may engage in unprofessional conduct because of the frustration that comes up when one cannot complete their tasks.
Companies should ensure that they handle all complaints and grievances in a professional manner. If employees do not feel like their employers respect them or take them seriously, the likelihood is high that workers will engage in misconduct.
Companies need to ensure that employees who violate company policies or practice unprofessional behavior are held accountable for their actions. If employers do not take any action against workers who act out, the likelihood is high that the problem will continue and may even become worse.