Ethics plays an important role in business operations. As employees, we expect the people we work for to be fair and honest and to follow company procedures. However, like everyone else, even your employer can take part in unethical business practices, including taking credit for someone else's work, failing to honor commitments, or even harassment. When you witness unethical behaviors, you should report them. There are several things to consider when you decide to report unethical behavior.
Try to correct the problem by going through the normal string of command. Speak with your direct supervisor about the unethical behavior you have seen or heard. Someone in management may be able to clear up any misconceptions you have, or can direct you to the person you need to talk to. You may also get your supervisor on your side, which can help your case.
Gather all of your facts before you jump to conclusions. Keep detailed notes and ask questions. Sometimes, what appears to be unethical is actually the correct procedure for doing something. It may just not be what we would do.
Don't gossip about the situation. This may anger management and other co-workers. Your goal isn't to draw attention to yourself but the problem. Co-workers may also begin to question your motives if you are constantly complaining about the situation. It's best to keep things quiet.
Prepare the report and do your investigations on your own time, not during your time on the job. Use your lunch break or prepare the report from home. Using office time can also be considered unethical because you are being paid to work.
Examine your reasons for filing a complaint. Don't file the report because you are feeling disgruntled or ignored.
Think of the consequences this will have on you and your family in the end. If you are wrong, this could possibly affect your employment status and the jobs of others.
Talk to your human resources department and find out the correct procedures for filing a report. When you are certain you have all the information you need, it is important to file the report correctly, so you will be heard. Go through the correct avenues. If you are justified in your findings, you could help save the company.
Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.