corporate ethics

Corporate Ethics: George Washington’s Advice to Gen Z’ers

Congratulations, Gen Z graduates! You are now part of the workforce. In the workplace, you’ll encounter several types of people. Do you want to know a secret? You can have a moral compass inside your company. It’s called corporate ethics. Beware though, not everyone care for its value.

Corporate Ethics: Gen Z’s Guide by George Washington

corporate ethics for gen Z torso of a man in a suit
As newbies in the workplace, let George Washington, the first president of the United States, give you pieces of advice on how business ethics guide you towards reaching that goal—success.
Corporate ethics, or as others call it, business ethics, doesn’t have an exact science. No matter how you search YouTube for a tutorial, you just can’t learn it in one sitting. Therefore, you’ll have to learn it the hard way: experience. Here’s a quick glimpse of what we have seen.

Three Things to Learn about Corporate Ethics

Did you know at sixteen, George Washington copied the 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by hand? Did you even know such social ethics exists? If not, don’t worry. Let’s just give this ancient list a modern spin so you can apply it.

1. Not everyone at work will respect you. Yet, you still need to respect them.

A professional knows how to respect people; not just the boss, but also the utility people as you meet them in the corridor. Corporate ethics involve respecting everyone. Rule number one of Washington, said: “Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect, to those that are present.”
Practice respect in the following ways: Listen when someone is speaking, may he be a colleague, or a superior. Don’t walk away when someone is still talking. When you write or speak, use the title of the person using his or her position in the company or finished degree. Do you want to become a full-pledged professional? Respect everyone.

2. You just have to obey, even if you don’t see the results right away.

As stated in rule number 40, “Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.” Even if you ask why there be rules to follow, it still pays to obey the elders. They have established this professional etiquette. Treat corporate ethics in the same way. You may not comprehend the reasons, yet you will reap the rewards later. If you’re still unconvinced, check the Washington list. Rule number 33 says, if you have authority, you take priority. Yet when you are young, treat everyone your equal.
Do you have a different idea, yet you must obey? Talk to your boss privately. Washington Rule of Conduct number 46 said, take reprimands thankfully in what time or place they are given but afterwards if you think you are not liable, set a time, and place suitable to inform your superior. Remember, to obey your corporate ethics is better than to sacrifice your name.

3. When you persevere long enough, you now gain confidence–yours and theirs.

Just like any new information, you will grasp the basics corporate etiquette right away. It will take months, sometimes, years of practice, even in social settings, for you to include these things in your workplace behavior. When you do, you will know how to behave during business dealings. You have gained confidence in yourself. Your superiors will trust you as well.
For instance, you have a colleague who you do not agree with. He started shouting and saying rude words at you. Because you have already included the corporate ethics in your behavior, you will apply the Washington’s list rule #73, “Think before you speak. Pronounce in a careful manner, nor bring out your words harshly.” Guess who is more likely to gain respect by others in the office? Yes, he or she who has a calm demeanor.

Gen Z’ers’ Twist on Corporate Ethics

While you may think Corporate Ethics is not needed in the world where authenticity is celebrated, think again. Manners and proper business ethics is appreciated more in a world that keeps neglecting them. Some rules may seem obsolete; it’s for you to decide. But when you think about it, corporate ethics boil down to the three: respect, obedience, and confidence.
If you want to remember at least one of George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, choose number 110. “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
Are you looking to work for a company that values corporate ethics? FilWeb Asia is for you.
Sources: workology.com| dailyherald.com| managers.usc.edu
Image Source: Unsplash.com