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Managing philosophical differences

Ethical compliance within an organization is done for the benefit of the company and the employees. A well-crafted ethical compliance policy will help you and your employees make day-to-day decisions that advance your business goals without venturing over to the “dark side.” The use of ethical standards can both reduce the chances of a workplace lawsuit and help to create a positive work environment. Before establishing your corporate ethical policies, you need to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of ethical compliance in an organization.

Society’s laws put into writing our collective understanding of right and wrong, and clearly define behaviors that are considered unacceptable. Local, state and federal laws help to guide part of a company’s ethical policies. At the very minimum, policies should embrace adherence to applicable laws. But most policies go beyond the minimum legal requirements.

For example, a zero tolerance corporate policy for sexual harassment is in response to the many laws that govern this kind of workplace activity. Your policy communicates to employees that sexual discrimination and harassment is unacceptable at all levels. Ethical compliance helps companies to develop a work culture that abides by the workplace laws and reduces the costs associated with fines and lawsuits.