How to ... be more ethically considerate!
How to ... be more ethically considerate!|Hotwire
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How To Be More Ethically Considerate

These tips have been sourced from "Ethics in action for internal communicators," by Katie Marlow and Helen Deverell via

By Malebogo Ashley Phillip


Ethical considerations for our day-to-day work:

  1. Be aware that we make decisions on behalf of the organisation that require reflection on our beliefs, values and ethics in our work. The impact of our decisions can have an impact on business, the livelihoods of employees and a wider impact on society.

  2. We have obligations and duties to abide by laws, the objectives of our organisations, the push from shareholders and the membership codes of our professional bodies – these can be in conflict sometimes. Ethical frameworks can help us through that maze of conflicting standards and demands.

  3. Sometimes, the consequences of our actions need to take precedence – such as protecting employees. Other times, it may be values or principles such as human rights that eclipse the corporate values in our decision making. For example, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 has ensured that businesses ‘confirm the steps taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in the business (or in any supply chain)’ as stated in the law.

  4. Understand the frameworks that can help us make ethical decisions with confidence. Know that our approach is consistent with leaders and managers in the organisation, and that if needed our decisions made on behalf of the organisation should be able to stand up to scrutiny.

  5. As communicators we can help promote ethical practice across organisations. The guidelines / frameworks should be clear and easy to follow, provide standards, reporting processes, an advice line and training. Clarity is key to helping people adopt the ethics and frameworks into their working practices.

  6. We use storytelling and language as our canvas to bring ideas and corporate objectives to life. When we use our stories and our language we’re embedding the corporate culture through the narrative. Using emotion helps foster connection, but be mindful of the emotions you’re appealing to with your communication and the ethics of that approach.

  7. Our work leaves a lasting legacy about a moment in time for the organisation. We have a responsibility to take due care with our words and our actions and be prepared to challenge leadership when asked to communicate what we feel would not be appropriate or ethical.

  8. The say/do gap is a challenge for many and has the potential to undermine any communication. Securing buy-in and participation from leadership and team leaders is 9 essential for us as communicators to ensure that what we share is authentic and we are closing the gap between what we say and what we do as an organisation.

  9. Our behaviours show the world what we really think. Business processes should make it easier to make the right choices, and employees should feel trusted and empowered to make the right choices. For ethics, rewarding positive choices is more effective than compliance and punishment for making poor choices.

*Please note the above is an extract from a larger publication.

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