WORKFORCE TRAINING

Courageous Ethics leads interactive training sessions to help your organization’s employees build the skills to navigate ethical challenges they confront in the workplace. These sessions are led with the understanding that behaving ethically requires more than knowledge about what is ethical—it also requires employees to have the skills to recognize the ethical dimensions present in everyday situations and to respond to them as quickly as they arise. With this in mind, Dr. Hayes designs these training sessions to:

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  • Equip all trainees with a decision procedure based on the spirit and letter of legal requirements and organizational requirements that apply to them, your organization’s core values, and best practices in their fields
  • Provide all trainees with clear examples of what it means to act on your organization’s core values in their business unit and in the company as a whole
  • Facilitate a safe setting in which trainees can practice applying your organization’s core values to ethical challenges in an open discussion format
  • Discuss ways to confront situations in which various constraints interfere with employees’ ability to behave ethically
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer interactions, which have proven to be one of the most effective ways to embed and sustain core values
  • Ensure that all employees know where to go with questions or to get guidance to navigate an ethical challenge

Dr. Hayes builds in extensive opportunities for employees to practice these skills so they have the knowledge, experience, and confidence they need to act decisively in ways that promote your organization’s mission and core values.

What Good Can Ethics Training Do For Adults? —A Lot.

It’s true that organizational ethics training cannot turn an unethical person into an ethical one—there is no substitute for a lifetime of ethical training. It can, however, equip them to build on the ethical training they’ve already had so they can navigate the ethical challenges they face in their current jobs.

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The ideal childhood ethics training equips individuals to navigate a broad range of ethical dilemmas in everyday settings. “Be kind,” and, “Don’t lie, cheat, or steal,” is good advice that will help individuals navigate a broad range of ethical challenges at school and in their personal lives. But as we confront new challenges, how many of us have struggled to determine how best to apply these broad guidelines to new ethical dilemmas—especially those arising in the specialized roles we take on in our careers?

As we confront new situations and take on new roles, we need to build on the ethical decision-making skills we acquired as children. Common sense morality is not always sufficient to provide the guidance we need. Consider the following cases.

Part of your job is to manage the company’s top performing salesperson, Steve. Steve is consistently rude and aggressive when interacting with other employees. Several people have complained about Steve, and there is a high turnover among employees who work with him. When you discussed this issue with Steve’s previous manager, he claimed that it was best to avoid penalizing this behavior because doing so will cause Steve to leave the company and sales will decline as a result.

You’re a new employee on a team that is charged with filling 10 orders per day. When the equipment you use functions well, your team is able to fill extra orders. However, sometimes the equipment fails and you have to wait for a repairman to fix them. On those days, you often cannot meet your quota. Your team deals with this problem by under-reporting its productivity on days that it fills more than 10 orders and “bankrolls” them so they can use them to make up for the lost productivity on bad days.

There are several factors that make ethical challenges like these so difficult to navigate. First, when you are working under your official capacity as an employee, you are acting on behalf of the organization, and it may not always be clear what choices your organization would endorse. Second, as an employee you are part of a system of people that at least partially determines what you are empowered to do and what the consequences of your actions will be, and you may not have the information you need to know what actions will yield the desired outcome.

Good ethics training can help address both of these factors. It can clarify expectations about how the organization’s mission and core values are supposed to guide the behavior of employees in each section of the organization and give employees information about the organizational system that partially determines the outcome of their actions. In addition, ethics training can influence the way your organizational system functions by clarifying expectations about how employees should work together.

To achieve desired results, ethics training should not just reiterate the rules of commonsense morality. Ethics training cannot replace a lifetime of character training—it cannot turn a vicious person into a virtuous person. However, ethics training can give employees the tools to navigate ethical challenges unique to the roles they occupy in your organization.

LEADERSHIP TRAINING

Courageous Ethics leads training sessions that help leaders increase their actual and perceived effectiveness as ethical leaders of their organizations. These sessions are led with the understanding that ethical leadership requires more than ethical behavior on the part of your organization’s leaders—it also requires leaders to make their ethical decision-making processes explicit and to encourage employees to do the same. Leaders who do this consistently help foster an ethical culture in your organization by:

  • Legitimizing the role of ethics in daily decision-making
  • Reinforcing the ethical decision-making skills of their employees
  • Surfacing employees’ underlying assumptions about “how things really work” in the organization.

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After providing your leaders with opportunities to practices these skills, Dr. Hayes will teach them to use this information to foster an ethical culture in your organization by:

  • Minimizing the barriers to ethical behavior in the organization
  • Empowering employees to overcome the barriers to ethical behavior that cannot be eliminated
  • Foregrounding information that empowers employees to consistently behave ethically

Armed with these skills, your leaders will be able to foster and leverage an ethical culture that will improve your organization’s reputation, functionality, and bottom line.

ONLINE TRAINING

Courageous Ethics offers online training programs that allow your employees to enjoy the convenience of completing their ethics training when it fits into their busy schedules without sacrificing the benefits of a custom-designed program led by an active instructor.

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Dr. Hayes utilizes a variety of media to present a decision-making procedure designed to help your employees navigate ethical challenges that arise in your work place. This decision procedure is based on:

  • the laws and regulations applying to your employees
  • your organization’s mission and core values
  • best practices in the fields your employees work in

Your employees will contribute to a series of guided discussions in which they practice applying the decision procedure to case studies based on ethical challenges they face at work. This allows your employees to break up a longer training course into shorter sessions in which they can review feedback on their work for the previous section before beginning the next session.

By using discussion boards to solicit responses to the case studies, Dr. Hayes facilitates interaction among trainees and creates an environment in which your employees can learn from each other in addition to learning from Dr. Hayes and the training materials she develops. This also allows your organization’s ethics training to be part of a larger culture-building effort that builds trust and good communication among members of your organization.

BOARD TRAINING

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Courageous Ethics leads interactive training sessions to ensure that all board members employ a shared understanding of your organization’s core values and the spirit of the laws governing them when making decisions as a group. Dr. Hayes will lead the board in a discussion about the meaning of your organization’s core values and how ethics should guide decisions regarding:

  • Future strategic directions for your organization
  • Recruitment of other members of the board
  • Governance
  • Evaluation of the CEO
  • Setting a “tone at the top”

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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“Schools of ethics in Western philosophy can be divided, very roughly, into three sorts. The first, drawing on the work of Aristotle, holds that the virtues (such as justice, charity, and generosity) are dispositions to act in ways that benefit both the person possessing them and that person’s society. The second, defended particularly by Kant, makes the concept of duty central to morality: humans are bound, from a knowledge of their duty as rational beings, to obey the categorical imperative to respect other rational beings. Thirdly, utilitarianism asserts that the guiding principle of conduct should be the greatest happiness or benefit of the greatest number.”
—New Oxford American Dictionary

What are ethics and why are they important?

Discussion about ethics can be quite complex, and the process of making ethical decisions in your organization may suffer because of the difficulty of applying ethics in real situations. Dr. Hayes clarifies expectations about how your organization’s mission and core values advise ethical responses in circumstances that you experience everyday.

How does one decide what is ethical?

Common sense morality is not always sufficient. When you are working in your official capacity as an employee, you are acting on behalf of your employer: it may not always be clear what choices your organization would endorse. Practical training based on the core values of your organization targets real life situations.

Does ethical training work ?

Ethical training cannot turn a vicious person into a virtuous person, but it can equip one to navigate the ethical challenges arising in the specialized roles we take on in our careers.