Engineers and architects have traditionally been looked up to by society for their professionalism and ethics. However, employee ethics should never be taken for granted, no matter the professional affiliation.
Here are some examples where employee ethics have fallen short, and some ways to ensure that proper ethics are regarded as non-negotiable….
Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
It was recently uncovered, quite by accident, that the global corporation Volkswagen had falsified reports regarding the emissions from its vehicles.
Further to the investigation by the EPA, it was discovered that the cover up involved engineers, technicians and executives within the organization. Several higher-ups have already lost their jobs on account of the incident, and more resignations are sure to follow.
It’s not unrealistic to think that some of the employees who were directly involved could face jail time for their failure to practice ethical decision-making on the job.
Shares of Volkswagen have plummeted since the scandal broke, the value of Volkswagen automobiles had dropped dramatically, and the overall customer faith in the Volkswagen brand has been destroyed.
After all, if consumers can’t believe what this giant corporation tells them about emission ratings through TV and print ads, how can they be sure anything they say is true?
The Volkswagen emissions scandal has not only damaged vehicle sales and the individual careers of those involved. It has cost the corporation untold dollars.
Instilling Employee Ethics
Unfortunately, employee ethics can never be assumed, even in the case of licensed professionals such as architects and engineers.
As the following article looks at, that’s one reason why professional development hours in ethical decisions are such an important part of continuing education.
With the help of in-person and online courses, licensed professionals can be guided with making the best ethical decisions.
Some of the things that these courses help with are:
- Handling clients who ask for quickie design/build work
- Dealing with personal conflicts or conflicts of interest
- Handling employers who ask for alteration of reports/facts
In the building industry, there are many levels of steps involved, and an assortment of professionals who contribute to any completed project.
It’s important that a licensed professional is skilled in handling any situation that arises, and is on the alert for problems that may arise pertaining to ethics.
When you realize that your corporation’s reputation is on the line along with your profits and shareholder value, it should be self-evident that maintaining employee ethics needs to play an important part in your overall company culture.
About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about marketing and best business practices.