By Peter R. Kensicki
The following is a simple six-step process that you may use to develop and implement an ethical Statement of Values at your organization.
The first step in developing a statement of ethical values is to indicate complete support for such a statement by the CEO of the organization and by identifying those stakeholders who need to be served.
Second, invite representatives of all stakeholders to a meeting to discuss the goal of creating an ethical statement of values. The group could be divided into smaller units with one representative of each stakeholder in each group.
An easy way to begin is to ask all stakeholders to list five words or phrases that describe how they would like to perceive the organization. The words chosen are overwhelmingly reflective of values such as “honest,” “respectful,” “responsible,” “caring,” and “fair.”
Interestingly, these same five words reflect not just those residing in the United States, but throughout the world (with one exception–outside the United States, words reflecting a strong value for “freedom” make the top five). But the words ultimately selected must reflect stakeholder interests.
Third, the words or phrases should be expanded into expectations surrounding them.
For example, assume the word “responsible” was chosen by an insurance agency. The expanded version could be: “Responsiblewhen you asked us a question, every employee is empowered to respond, within 24 hours, with the answer, or with the proper person to answer the question, or with an explanation as to why no answer can be given. We take your questions seriously and we will respond in a timely manner.”