In fact, if an assessment of my workplace in terms of ethical behavior would be conducted basing on what I eve learned in studying work ethics for three sessions now, I can honestly say that it will most likely result to a poor rating. Ethics is a word so familiar that everyone seems to be aware of it yet very few understand what it really means. I am one among those who assumed that good work ethics is simply manifested by working hard, being on time or being respectful to others. Knowing what is wrong and what is right in a workplace was once my simple perception of the word work ethics.
Studying work ethics made me realize that there’s a lot more to good ethics than Just y simply working hard. Having a good attitude is a paramount to having good work ethics. It is professionalism, diligence, caring about my work and to the people I work with. Being able to distinguish what is right from wrong is pointless unless I am determined to do the right thing always. I cannot explain work ethics in its truest sense but I hope that by sharing my personal experience towards this subject, I could at least impart even bit knowledge about it. Many aspires to Join the Local Government Unit workforce, I was one of them.
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When I anally landed a Job in 2004, a wave of exhilaration and determination washed over me. It was the opportunity I had been waiting for: a Job that offers security, great benefits, and possible advances to my career development. I was so enthusiastic in working because it is really my dream Job to be at the government service. But being in the government service is not as easy as I thought it would be. Embracing public service soon became an everyday challenge due to negative outlook of people about government workers. We are often regarded as lazy, corrupt, uncaring and arrogant.
With this kind of Judgments coming from most people, proving them wrong rather than Just doing what is within my Job description became a day to day struggle. Along with my Journey as a public servant is the quest for answer to the question how come people have such poor Judgment to the government when in the first place it is the government that serves them? Studying work ethics seems to unfold answers to this question. It became an eye opener. Looking back at my nine long years in the government service, I felt a pang of shame ND regret while I recall how I have been doing as a public servant.
Yes, I am guilty as everybody else of misconduct, of unethical behavior. But there is no such thing as a life without mistakes and regrets. How to deal with them is what’s important – either restrict the future, or motivation to move forward and to start anew. I chose the latter. Anthony J. Tangelo was so right when he said that “When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of Just hacking the leaves”. As I slowly try to correct my behaviors, I try to dig deep how these behaviors came up in my system, in the first place.
Just lately I realized that no matter how many times I attempted to encourage myself to be ethical, I was constantly derailed by the invocation of common misstatement and misconception of ethical principles. I am sharing my list, which Eve been reviewing from time to time, letting them as my reminders to act accordingly when I’m in situations that challenges my ethical standards. 1 . “Everybody does it”. I have this assumption that the ethical nature of an act is somehow improved by the number of people who do it, and if “everybody does it” then it is implicitly all right to do it as well.
Sneaking some office supplies for personal use or using the office equipments in printing projects of my daughter seemed to be a normal thing to me because I see my colleagues doing them too. Though I know it isn’t right, I’m always blinded by the reasoning that I shouldn’t be singled out for condemnation if everybody else is not. Realization: If someone is making an argument that an action is no longer unethical because so many people do it, then that person is either in dire need of ethical instruction, or an idiot. 2. “Nobody perfect or everybody makes mistakes”.
I often convince myself that it’s all right to commit mistakes since nobody perfect. A particular unethical act like cheating the time of arrival in the workplace is excused because I’m not perfect and I also commit mistake like everybody else. Realization: Though nobody perfect and everyone makes mistakes, we are still accountable for the mistakes we make. 3. “There are worst things”. It is true that for most ethical misconduct, there are indeed worst things. Lying to my boss in order to have a day off isn’t as bad as stealing money from the government.
Realization: The fact that someone’s act is more or less ethical than yours has no effect on ethical nature of your conduct. 4. “I have no choice”. Sometimes I behave unethically because of the idea that I have no choice. But then I realized that it’s totally a lie. I Just didn’t like the choices and taking the unethical option involved less sacrifice, less effort controversy, less effort, less courage, than doing the right thing. Realization: Ethics often requires pain; if making the ethical choice was easy, there would be no need to practice being ethical.
We always have a choice, and we are still accountable for the choice we made. 5. “If you can’t beat them, Join them”. I have always been perplexed at the fact that people who don’t play by the rules have an apparent advantage over those who do; abandonment of values seemed to be the only way to prosper. Realization: Winning isn’t the only thing, we must hold on to ethical standards to preserve the quality of civil existence. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Illegal conduct becomes ethical because good consequences happen to arise out of t, even when the good result was completely unintended or unexpected.
Realization: The ethical nature of an act must be evaluated when it’s done, and not based on results. 7. “Ethics is a luxury I can’t afford right now’. Have you ever heard yourself saying “l will do anything to fix this!? Well you’re not the only one, Eve been there too. There are those times that even though I believe that I should be good and fair, ethics become optional when I’m in desperate times and panic is overcoming me. Realization: Ethics is never a luxury, they are life-lines. We should always hold on to hem. 8. “It’s contagious”.
Ethical misconduct is like a disease, a very contagious disease. Seeing someone get away with something convinces me that the odds of being caught are lower than I figured. Seeing my colleagues behaving poorly pressures me into behaving well. Realization: Observing questionable behavior of others affects our own actions too, it could test our values. Careful not to adopt such behavior, instead, take them as reminder so you can act accordingly when in same situation. Lapses in the practice of workplace ethics come in all sizes, large and small.
There are instances that my failures to practice workplace ethics are invisible. No one but me will ever know about the decision that I made. But then there’s always this Jittery and awkward feeling that haunts me when I know my action had been substandard – I make up excuses, give myself reasons yet that little voice of my conscience that chatters away in my head, tries to convince myself that what I have done isn’t ethical. I came to realize that each lapse in ethics affects my essence as an individual, as an employee, and as a human being.
Each failure to practice value-based workplace ethics affects my image and what I stand for far more than it affects my coworkers and that even the smallest lapse in workplace ethics diminishes the quality of the workplace. Bad attitudes, bad behaviors are completely natural part of being, well, human. But they should not be used as legitimate excuse to our ethical misconduct. Being in the public office is not only a public trust but a sacred duty. The Bible says “What you have done to the least of your brethren, you have done it to God”.
The DOD things you have done to others, you have done it to God. In same manner, the bad things you have done to others, you have done it to God. From now on, I’ll try to be a person of integrity and that I bring my highest standards of ethics to my workplace each day. I can’t promise I’ll be able to do it perfectly, but I promise to try, until such time I’ll be able to perfect it. “Did you bring your ethics to work today? ” – a candid question that I am determined to ask myself every day before facing the hustles and bustles of my day to day life as a public servant from now on.