The Importance of Promoting Ethical Behavior in The Workplace

Posted 11 May, 2016 in Compliance & Ethics


If you think ethics in your organization aren't a big deal, think again. Steve's story proves just how important ethics are in business. His integrity saved his employer losing more money, earned him a promotion and great respect from his boss. 


It happened five years ago, but to the person involved, “Steve”, the whole ugly experience still feels like yesterday.

Long story short: Steve was a mid-level manager at a large-ish manufacturing facility. He reported to the general manager “Mary” who was a control freak and bully.  

One day, Mary ordered Steve to authorize an $8,000 invoice. Trouble was, it was from a supplier he’d never heard of.

Alarm bells rang so Steve discreetly rang Mary’s boss, the CEO and founder of the business. He too knew nothing about the invoice.  

An investigation ensued. Turned out Mary had been quietly siphoning company money to her personal account for two years to the tune of $3 million.

She was found guilty on charges of fraud, and is currently completing a four year jail sentence.

As for Steve, he’s been promoted to general manager.

But it could have been very different.  

What if he’d decided to authorize the invoice and simply turn a blind eye? After all, he would just be following orders, right?


His employer’s well-documented code of ethics clearly states ‘any suspicion of fraud must be reported’. If he’d chosen not too, he too could have been implicated, and likely to be incarcerated once the truth inevitably came out.

This true story highlights the importance of creating an ethical culture in the workplace. Luckily for Steve, the anti-fraud code had been recently promoted internally, outlining the course of action an employee should take. It was an easy decision for him to whistle-blow.

Can the same be said for your employees? If in doubt, there are some proven techniques to help your teams act vigilantly, detect and report misconduct at all times.



At SnapComms HQ, we’ve developed a white paper specifically on “How to Promote Ethical Behavior in the Workplace” which you can download here: 

Download the whitepaper


Meanwhile, please share your stories about ethics in the workplace. Leave a comment below.


Compliance & Ethics

Sarah Perry

More blogs by Sarah Perry

Determined to help organizations improve cut through for employee communications, Sarah co-founded SnapComms in 2007. Within three years, SnapComms grew from zero to hero in the competitive sector of employee communication software, where it is now a global market leader.