Human resources practices training ensures that team leaders know how to make ethical decisions and establish standards. The first thing a team leader should do is clearly lay out to everyone what the standards of ethical behavior are. Then, it's important to begin an open discussion with the team members about what exactly it means to say you will work and behave ethically. One expert recommends that while determining what it means to be ethical, you should also use team agreements. These agreements make statements about what members promise they will and will not do in regards to other team members.
Having team members sign these agreements gives team leaders a helpful way to measure and determine if someone seems to be straying from the agreement. HR practices also help team leaders understand that in order to get the best results, they must be a role model of ethical behavior themselves. According to experts it's most important that the team leader role model ethical behavior in everything that he or she does and cannot allow something to happen within the team structure, or within the business, or within the company, that goes against ethical behavior.
It's key for leaders to remember that even giving unspoken approval for something is still considered approval. On the same token, if a leader doesn't prevent or stop something from occurring, they have essentially made the rules established in the agreements useless. It's not just important to model ethical behavior inside the workplace, it's also important for team leaders to practice this code of ethics in everyday life because you never know who could be watching.
All business, organizations, and companies can benefit from the standards that human resources practices should help team leaders to enforce. A team leader who really tries to adhere to ethical practices will begin by being open and implementing open and honest communication throughout the company. HR practices advise leaders to discuss issues and concerns with all team members openly so that they feel comfortable if they need to address certain issues as well. Members of the team need to feel that they can come to the leader with any concern and issue and know that the leader will respond in a positive way and resolve the issue. One way to ensure this is by making meetings completely open and welcoming.
Behaving ethically and ensuring that the company runs in this manner as well is not only positive for the leader, but it also helps the company as a whole. For the team to improve, the leader needs to make sure that the standards agreed upon are upheld at all times. If the standards are not upheld, then it is the leader's responsibility to take care of the issue head on. This shows other members that the rules and standards are important and can't be ignored. It also gives the leader credibility. Even if groups break into factions, it is the leaders' job to put forth more effort and make sure to handle situations as an open group, because part of the agreement should be that team members do not discuss group items individually. This should help ensure ethical behavior within the team and throughout the business.
David Shoemaker is Vice President of Learning Solutions and Innovation at eCornell. For more information on human resources practices, hr practices, or eCornell, please visit http://www.eCornell.com