“What do you do if your personal values are in conflict with organizational/interpersonal business protocols?” Personal values deal with ethical standards, morals, beliefs, integrity, respect, commitment, understanding and unbiased behaviors. Values are the basic believes that are important to you, the ones that guide your choices and tell you what is right or wrong (Pace, 2006). It would be extraordinarily hard to work in a company where my personal values are in conflict with the organization’s values. I believe, as an employee, I would be going down a road of destruction, a hostile work environment and will be faced with challenges from leadership. When a conflict is presented, the first step is to have an action plan, have a clear and organized train of thoughts and proceed with the plan in a professional manner. The second step is to professionally approach your manager about the situation. Honesty is the best policy in any relationship; in this particular case, between management and employees.
In an ideal workplace environment, employees are hopeful for a compromise, between manager and employee, however, it is very hard to have a solution when there are different personal values going against the problem. Some decisions are expedited without making clear and ethical judgments. On the other hand, other decisions have been presented in a matter where the conflict has been investigated and a solution has been thoroughly evaluated. Poor judgment often leads to additional conflicts and may even increase high turnover rates in the organization. In a department with poor leadership, there will be constant disagreements, lack of communication will increase, continuous finger pointing when errors are made, and the employees’ expectation of the department as a whole will be re-evaluated and employees’ morale will eventually start to decrease. I strongly believe that managers should be conscientious of their employees’ values and beliefs in order to make unbiased decisions. In addition, it is imperative for managers to have an “open door policy” in order for employees to have a sense of security and knowing that there will be no retaliation based on what he or she believe is right or wrong. There is always a solution for each problem, as long as the problem can be evaluated based on the company’s standards. If a problem cannot be resolved, then the most professional thing to do is to find employment elsewhere.
However, like the old saying goes, “do not burn your bridges.” This statement means that you, as an employee, should try to leave the company in good standards, as you never know if you will need another opportunity within the same company. People often tend to leave an organization due to difference of belief system between the employee and the company. Unfortunately, the workplace is a diverse world within itself; therefore, not everyone will agree with the company’s cultural standards. Nevertheless, it is important for everyone to respect and learn from one another. Not everything in the organization’s cultural standards may be right or wrong based on your personal belief, but you, as an employee, have to work with that company’s standards.
If you see or know that something is wrong, then you need to bring that up and stand up for what you belief, even if that leads you to finding employment elsewhere. Standing up for what is right instead of being a follower is a sign of character. We currently live in a diverse world where all people have different beliefs and ethical principles. What may be right for one cultural group, it may be wrong for another cultural group. It is imperative for the company to follow proper business code standards. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), companies can create positive business ethics by generating goodwill, communication openly and taking advantage of opportunities for leaders to create value based on a foundation of accountability, responsibility and integrity.
Pace, J. (2006). The Workplace: Personal Skills for Success. The professional development series. Book Three. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Society for Human Resource Management. Business Ethics: The Role of Culture and Values for an Ethical Workplace. Retrieved from www.shrm.org on September 8, 2012.