Are We Focusing on Employee Engagement Metrics (And Missing the Point)?

Employee engagement is a metric that companies are closely watching. Using surveys, levels of participation in programs, and satisfaction reports, companies measure how well they engage those they lead. Butcould this heightened level of watching be part of the problem?…

Want Top Talent? Pass the Reverse Interview

By Linda Fisher Thornton

HR Executives are telling me that job applicants are "interviewing their interviewers" to find out about their organizations' ethics. It makes sense. Applicants want potential employers to treat them well and to demonstrate a positive track record in areas that matter to them. In this trend toward "reverse interviewing," applicants are asking about people practices, community involvement and sustainability practices. 

Your Culture is Not A Secret (So Protect Your Ethics)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

One of my favorite concepts for understanding how social media is changing the visibility of organizational culture is Trendwatching.com's report Glass Box Brands. As Trendwatching.com elequently explains, "In an age of radical transparency, your internal culture is your brand." The key point I take away from this important report is that we can no longer assume that our culture is private. In fact, it's completely public and it defines our brand.

Ethical Leadership Interview on Culture Hacker Podcast

By Linda Fisher Thornton

I am delighted that Shane Green, author of Culture Hacker, invited me to be a guest on his podcast to talk about ethical leadership and culture.

Culture is what we make of it. As leaders, it's our job to make it an engaging, ethical, high-trust environment where people can do the very best work of their lives. And while we're doing that, the world is watching. 

Every Decision Changes The Ethical Culture Equation

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Ethics has a compounding effect on culture, and our leadership choices determine whether that effect will be positive or negative. Being diligent about ethics in every decision brings the culture ethics dividends. Being careless about ethics brings ethics penalties.

The tricky part about managing ethical culture is that every leader decision and action throughout the organization is changing the equation. The "ethical culture equation" is changing in real time, every day.

Leaders Are Culture Caretakers: 10 Actions For Success

By Linda Fisher Thornton

There are many ways to understand culture, and some of the definitions are very complicated. My favorite way to think about culture is as an infrastructure or scaffolding that supports the behaviors we want. Culture drives what people do, and is the setting and framework for great work.

If Every Leader Cared

By Linda Fisher Thornton

I wonder what our workplaces would be like if every leader cared. Most leaders care about their own well-being. But what if every leader cared about others? How would things be different?

In an organization where every leader cared, wouldn't we experience improved employee engagement and customer retention? Wouldn't it be easier to recruit and retain talented and dedicated employees? Wouldn't we be able to get more done?

With Ethics PREVENTION is the Cure

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Have you heard the expression "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?" Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting enough sleep will help us prevent health problems. In the quest for good health, preventive habits make all the difference.

It is generally easier for us to establish healthy habits than to resolve persistent problems once they start. There is an important parallel we can draw between human health and organizational health - prevention is also the best way to deal with ethics in organizations.

40 Ways to Build an Ethical Culture (An Ethical To Do List)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Last week I blogged about 40 Ethical Culture Gaps to Avoid. This week, I'm sharing a 'What To Do" list of 40 Ways to Build an Ethical Culture. This list includes many ways to incorporate ethical values into daily organizational leadership.

Each one of these 40 Ways to Build an Ethical Culture can improve an organization. Leaders paying attention to all of these factors will reap rewards that include improved employee engagement, better financial performance, increased productivity and job satisfaction, improved competitive position and more.

Use this "ethical to do list" to assess your culture. Put a check mark beside the positive ethical actions that you have observed in your organization. Any that you leave unchecked are opportunities for improvement.

40 Ethical Culture Gaps To Avoid

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Leaders set the tone for how ethical values are applied. They mentor those they lead, and serve as positive role models. It is not enough, though. for them to talk about ethical values and model what they look like in action. They must also fiercely protect the ethics of their organizations. They are the caretakers of ethical culture.

3 Factors That Numb Ethics Efforts (And 3 That Energize Them)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

To build a strong ethical culture, leaders should take a positive, preventive approach to ethics. That would include communicating clear ethical values and expectations and quickly stopping any unethical behavior. But those things are not enough by themselves. There are cultural factors that either enable our prevention efforts or disable them.

5 Ways to Talk About Ethics (Without Being “Blah Blah Boring”)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

We owe it to our employees to make ethics real. People learning ethics are often given "blah blah boring" material (and then expected to remember and apply it). I believe that this is not just a mistake, it's a crime! Why? Because ethics is anything but boring. Ethics is really interesting stuff when you dive into its complexities.

Today I'm sharing 5 ways to talk about ethics without being "blah blah boring." Feel free to use these as conversation starters with your team, and let me know if they make your conversations more meaningful.

5 Reasons Ethical Culture Doesn’t Just Happen

By Linda Fisher Thornton Don't assume that an ethical culture will just happen in your workplace. Even if you are a good leader, ethical culture is a delicate thing, requiring intentional positive leadership and daily tending. It requires more than good leadership, more than trust building, and more than good hiring. Why does building an ethical culture require so much more than good leadership? Ethical culture is a system of systems, and just putting in good leadership, trust-building and good hiring doesn't make it healthy.