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So You Consider Yourself Highly Ethical


Is it OK to take company stationery to use at home? 

If a plastic pen is OK; then a pen and some paper is probably OK; then some pens, pencils, highlighters and writing pads are OK; then maybe a computer or two is OK! 

Is it OK to claim the odd dubious expense?

Well I could claim a couple of coffees because I probably spent some extra time at work this month; then its probably OK to claim that lunch I had with my buddy (because he works in the industry … and I was gathering intelligence); then its probably OK to claim the golf game with a couple of buddies (because they will tell me what is going on at “that account”); then its probably OK to claim that dinner with my wife because I have worked really hard this month.

Is it OK to call on my old clients even though I have a six month non-compete?

I could just post my new job on LinkedIn and then connect to them all in preparation for after the six months; then it would be OK to send a nice message saying I really enjoyed working with them and I’m now at company X; then maybe I could just have a coffee and tell them what I’m up to now and what a great company it is; then I guess it would be OK to see if they have any “opportunities” because its been 4 weeks and it might take another 5 months before the orders come through!

Is it OK to take extra time out of my work day for personal activities?

I could just squeeze in that dental appointment, I can make the time up later (maybe); well I have to catch that 5pm bus so sneaking out 15 minutes early each day won’t be a big deal (15 minutes a day= 1 hour 15 mins a week = 5 hours a month = 60 hours a year); I’m a sales guy so I can do a client call on Friday afternoons at 1pm out near my home and be home by 2pm (3 hrs a week = 12 hours a month = 144 hours a year).

The picture I am painting is with a jaundiced eye and from an employer’s perspective only.  The point however is that it is often easy to justify small decisions, but they can easily get bigger.   Where is that line?  Is it your decision to make … or should you just not go there?

 You have a contracted, symbiotic relationship where you provide skills and labour and the company provides income and benefits.  Are you being fair to your employer? 

If not, then are you OK with the person that is willing to cheat their employer? 

Everyone games the system a little bit, but truly ethical people make a real effort to be fair … other people don’t.

There is a lot of talk about CEO greed … their excessive incomes and perks, and I believe that ethics needs to start at the top.  If management is not willing to set the right example then they can’t expect their teams to have a higher standard.  Are you comfortable that your management team are ethical in their choices?

All of us have choices every day … I believe that it is important to be comfortable with who you are. 

Are you?

No judgements … just askin’!