Giving a voice to a “Culture of Integrity” in the work place – Is that really hard?

culture of integrity

The Next Frontier, Corporate Ethics, is not limited to the USA market but has Researches and in–depth studies being carried out in BRIC countries as well.

It is further developing in countries like Thailand too. Studies of such a nature are not new and unique, but after the fall of world corporate giants, WorldCom and ENRON, the focus has increased dramatically with a heavy focus on Employment Law and Corporate Social Responsibility.

There is no universally accepted terminology for Corporate Ethics, but literature suggests a set of guidelines and rules expected of organisational members within a business practice or a situation. The real challenge lies in how one situation may seem Unethical, but may seem Ethical to another.

Explaining Corporate Ethics is a challenging matter, as with many cultures, accepting a dinner invitation from a client or a ticket to a football match or to the cinema may seem harmless, but organisations with a high Ethical Code will not accept such practices.

A study carried out by Robert Gibbons in 1998 reported that in order to achieve bonus targets which were based on sales figures in the previous year, Heinz Company’s divisional heads manipulated shipment timings with a pre-payment plan for intended shipments.

This not only added costs to the firm, but showed the customer incorrect shipment data as per the findings. Where Dun & Bradstreet is concerned, in order to qualify for commission payment, this fraudulent historical sales data not only deceived customers, but also lead the company to heavy lawsuits. Sears, an auto-repair shop in the USA, decided to abolish the commission payment plan which was based on ‘profits based on repair’ after the scheme resulted in documenting unnecessary repairs.

These unlawful acts almost cost the closure of the Sears’ state unit. The consequences of strong incentives against wrong actions and such manipulations towards personal gains not only damage the morals of the customer, but also the reputation of the service provider.

A motivated group of people in an organisation contribute largely towards its success, and earning such a workforce with the right goals and motivational tools should be the winning theory of HRM.

Focus on rewards should be directed on employee behaviours, which should be advantageous to both the employee and the employer. Scholars, Eugene McKenna & Nic Beech report that, in order to retain the services of employees while maintaining a high level of performance, appropriate measures combined with competitive packages is deemed necessary.

A flexible reward plan should not only concentrate on wages and salaries, but should see beyond its limits as to non-financial rewards. Psychologically, these can be fulfilling if achievements and responsibilities are recognised towards career development which have contributed in the decision-making process.

The latest reward system is based on the analysis of competence and skills, where a job is analysed against applied techniques. This is to enhance the contribution of knowledge and skills as to the operational significance of the organisation. This has proved valuable with flatter organisational structures, where the emphasis is more on flexibility and teamwork.

Performance Related Pay (PRP) is a comparison tool used to define objectives and identify the level of achievement of these objectives. These can be in the form of a lump-sum percentage on a target achieved, a percentage of the basic salary, or a performance bonus deviating from both. A complete different turn can also take place, deviating from monetary gains in the form of a promotion in order to fulfil the psychological needs of the achiever.

­­­­­­PRP rewards an individual or a group when an above-the-expected performance is delivered. It is understood that rewarding staff monetary-based incentives is encouraged more than a non-financial reward in a lateral-type organisation. The PRP method both rewards achievement and encourages staff to regulate output with their incentives.

With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.   –  Zig Ziglar

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