What Not to Do (Part 4)

In this final post of a four-part blog series, we wrap up our list of unethical behaviors that all local government appointed and elected officials and employees should avoid. Feel free to review all four posts and send links to those in local government.

  • Personal Use of Organization’s Property – This unethical behavior is a form of stealing and may include, but is not limited to:
    • Using the phone to make personal long distance calls
    • Using the postage meter for personal mail
    • Pirating software for personal use
    • Using any piece of equipment or resource for personal gain
    • Use of any facility for political campaign activities
  • Policy – It is unethical to ignore policy.
  • Political Campaigns – It is not unethical for a local government employee to run for public office. However, it is unethical for a local government employee to verbally campaign, wear a campaign button, post campaign literature in any form, solicit support during regular work hours, or utilize local government resources for campaign purposes. It is wise for any employee who is campaigning for public office to keep a, “campaign log” in order to verify use “work-time” in contrast with “campaign-time.”
  • Presenteeism – Coming to work when you are ill and exposing fellow employees to potential illness and lower productivity.
  • Procrastination – It is unethical to put off work that needs to be done/has been assigned.
  • Sabotage – It is unethical to tamper with or destroy personal or the organization’s property. It is also unethical to “set someone up” for failure.
  • Safety – Ignoring safety rules and regulations is unethical.
  • Secrets – It is unethical to hide information that could damage the reputation of your organization or damage public trust.
  • Stealing – It is never ethical to take something that does not belong to you. Even borrowing money from a fellow employee is not a wise decision. If you feel you are at the end of your rope and have no choice other than stealing, consult with your organization’s Employee Assistance Program.
  • Taking Credit – It is unethical to take credit for work you did not do. It is also unethical to give credit to a co-worker by giving him/her credit for someone else’s work.
  • Turf Wars – It is unethical to protect yourself from losing control or power by manipulating or bullying others via a, “my way or the highway” mindset.
  • Waste – Whether it is paper, time, fuel, or anything belonging to your employer, it is your responsibility as an employee to be a good steward of all workplace resources for which you have been entrusted. This includes working slow on purpose to extend the length of a contractual project, or in an attempt to avoid additional work. Extended breaks, lunches, and business meetings also fall within this category and should be avoided. Even environmental sustainability should be important to the public sector employee. Recycle and re-use as much as possible.

We hope this series has been a help to you and your staff – Happy training!

Greg Anderson
Written by:
Greg Anderson
Chief Learning Officer, Strategic Government Resources
Follow Greg on Twitter!@SGRGreg

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