RE: Discussion – Week 8
When approaching a problematic work-related decision, I always think about what decision would create a positive impact for the company in general. About a year ago, an employee reported a situation in which she felt her manager was retaliating because she was not available during certain times of the week, so her manager was scheduling her for random shifts that highly impacted her personal life. She also mentioned other situations in which the manager was allegedly not acting in the teams best interest. We had a meeting with the employee, and we told her we would talk to her co-workers, who she claimed felt the same way. After a couple of weeks, we received an email that the employee sent to the President of the Board of Directors where she explained the situation and claimed HR was not taking any action. After that, the President requested an investigation and he brought outside consultants to carry out the investigation. They concluded that most of the team members in the department had similar concerns and the situations described by the original claimant had apparently been happening for quite some time. The manager had been an employee for over 30 years, and we had to decide what the options were moving forward. The team members requested that she be fired, and the board was pushing the HR department to find a suitable solution. Tim Cook said that ethics for him is leaving things better than you found them (2013). However, this is not an easy task. If we terminated the manager, we were going to lose an employee who had been loyal to the company for over 30 years and it was going to be hard to find a replacement for someone with her experience to manage a team that had been described as difficult.
On the other hand, we could offer coaching, but we were not sure it was going to improve the situation and how long it was going to take. At the same, we decided the best option was to offer her a severance packet considering all the years she had worked for the company and showing how much we valued her work. She did not accept the packet, so we had to follow the companys procedure and offer her coaching, which she had to ultimately accept. I think the main point then was to show team members that they were heard and that we were there for them and at the same time find a way to improve the managers behavior.
If the situation happened again, based on the fact that the manager owned her flaws and was able to recognize her weaknesses (Wedell-Wedellsborg, 2019), I would take similar action, but I would suggest coaching first and as a last resource, the severance packet. After 30 years of being in the same position, I can understand that cultural numbness may happen, and you stop noticing when offensive language becomes the norm or you start to behave in ways that you would never have expected to be part of your repertoire (Wedell-Wedellsborg, 2019). Even though this cannot be taken as an excuse, I do believe people deserve an opportunity to improve, and coaching would be the best step in order to do so.
- Duke University The Fuqua School of Business. (2013, May 30). Apple CEO Tim Cook on ethical leadership [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ygNKNaMv4c
- Wedell-Wedellsborg, M. (2019, April 12). The psychology behind unethical behavior. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 2-6. https://hbr.org
RE: Discussion – Week 8
Workplace decisions can produce various situations that can be difficult to navigate through. There have been occasions where decisions must be made without having a clear and solid understanding of the circumstances. With any decision, good leadership should attempt to act in an ethical scope. Ethical leadership is defined as “leadership directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and the dignity and rights of others.” It is mainly concerned (Kuligowski, K., 2020).
Recently, my organization underwent a significant structural change, revamping the Members Services Enrollment (MES) department to increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. All staff was informed that our job functions would change with no extra incentive. Management was transparent that if the role we were placed in was not a good fit, we could change to another function. Even though leadership advised team members to communicate any concerns, I hesitated since I have experienced retaliation actions, the possibility of appearing to be difficult, and uncertainty about how this would affect my annual performance review.
After the team meeting, I processed what I would be my actions for the next 24 hrs. Believing that my organization operated in moral development and virtuous manner guided me to have that conversation with my management team about how I did not want to be a part of the new job role selected for me. My values and concerns were addressed in my reasoning, and I was placed in a job role that better fit my needs and development.
If this situation were to occur again, I would lay out the benefits and negatives of my position to decide what would be most beneficial to myself. Suppose organizations are true to their values and mission regarding action plans and decision-making processes. In that case, leadership should formulate a code of conduct, which gives clear guidelines for respecting and upholding the company’s stated values (Fontrodona & Sanz, 2015). There is always a risk when operating with management, for some individuals are not true to the organization’s mission and actions. However, I believe in acknowledging the positives and negatives of your direct management to make the best decision for the individual.
Kuligowski, K. (2020, October 2013). How to be an ethical leader: 7 tips for success. Business News Daily. https://www.busienssnewsdaily.com/5537-how-to-be-ethical-leader.html
FONTRODONA, J., & SANZ, P. (2015). The Keys to a Positive Business Culture. IESE Insight, 27, 1522. https://doi.org/10.15581/002.ART-2789
RE: Discussion – Week 8
A time where I had to make a tough decision related to work would have to been when I was working at a Dentist office as a receptionist. During that time of period, I only last in this employment for about 4 months. I was working along side another receptionist who at the time was working for the owner/dentist for about a year. As I was getting familiar how things were needed to be done and the job roles, I later got the trust of my coworker of her sharing information regards our boss. She had brought to my attention that sometimes our boss would come off very direct and rude when trying to make a point of what needed to be done without him telling us. At the moment, I was caught off guard because in my point of view, my boss seemed pretty professional. As weeks passed by, I later came to realize that her judgment was becoming clear now. This person I worked for made it very hard to be around as time would pass by. He was very disrespectful, was a poor leader and aggressive in the manner he talked to his employees. Keep in mind when he would get made at one or the other receptionist, he would take it out on the other dentist assistants or even slam doors when he would storm back into his office. Things that were so unprofessional were times where he would tell my coworker in front of me how stupid she was if he caught something wrongful, she did in her end. He would scream at both of us if we did not make certain outgoing calls to bring in people to the dentist office for those who had kids with Medicaid insurance so he would profit out of it. He would have personal arguments with his wife at the office where all his employees would hear before opening or closing the office. It was getting to the point where I was no longer happy but needed the job because I had to pay bills and support my 2 small children at that time. It was obviously getting tough for me in trying to get another job while having to work at the Dentist office where it was always busy. One day, there was a situation where this manager was so disrespectful in how he approached me that he told me to go to lunch as if I was a little kid and when I did, I never went back. I was never the person who would leave the job without giving some type of notice. But when it came to this toxic and unprofessional workplace, I knew I just had to walk away. No money was worth me dealing with his aggressiveness of words. It was a tough situation for me, but I later was fortunate to have another job open for me thanks to a neighbor. I explained to her my situation, and she referred me to her employer. I submitted the application, completed the interviews, and was hired on within 2 weeks. It was a struggle not having income for 3 weeks, but I managed during that time with resources and family support.
As I read article The key to a Positive Business Culture by Fontrodona and Sanz, a statement stood out to me. Integrity carries a cost. It means not taking shortcuts. It may mean challenging immoral behavior or taking a stand on principle. It means not looking the other way when it would be much easier to do so (Fontrodona & Sanz, 2015). In order to build integrity at an organization they must have action plans, policies, and structure. This employer was the total opposite of that. There were no guidelines, no good management systems nor values of treating employees with respect. In the end, I was satisfied with the decision I made at that time and never looked back. It only made me realize to respect myself as a person and know the difference of being treated wrongfully at a workplace.