Ethical Issues in the 'Workplace

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Running head: WORKPLACE ETHICAL DILEMMA

Workplace Ethical Dilemma

University of Phoenix
Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Human Service
BSHS/332

July 05, 2010

Workplace Ethical Dilemma
Most large organizations have implemented policies that dictate how they will conduct employee relations. One area of employee relations is the giving performance evaluations. In this paper, the moral and ethical issues faced by managers giving performance evaluations will be addressed. The relationship between social issues and ethically responsible management practices in the giving of performance evaluations will be discussed. A workplace example of an ethical issue involving a performance evaluation will be provided. The legal aspects that governed the ethical issue will be identified and examined. Trevino & Nelson (2006) state that performance evaluations are given in two forms. The first form of a performance evaluation is the formal, written evaluation of an employee’s performance during a prescribed period, which is usually a year. The second form of a performance evaluation is the informal giving of continuous feedback to an employee. Managers give this type of performance evaluation throughout the year. By using this method, managers communicate goals and measure the employee’s performance against those goals by giving continuous feedback. Continuous feedback

Managers will encounter many opportunities to give continuous feedback to their employees. Managers should recognize their employees for exemplary performance. Managers should also give their employees guidance when they are falling short of company goals. The objective of continuous feedback is to encourage employees to continue good behavior and correct substandard performance before it creates a larger problem for the company. Because employees respond to being praised for excellent work, giving positive feedback will bolster the employee’s confidence and drive him to maintain the same level of performance. Written performance evaluations

Performance evaluations are a necessary part of being a manager; however, according to Trevino & Nelson (2006), most managers avoid giving performance evaluations because recognizing an employee’s achievements is easier than discussing his shortcomings. Although discussing an employee’s shortcomings can be uncomfortable, performance evaluations are one of the most important tools available to a manager.

Performance evaluations provide a forum for managers to discuss openly and honestly the employee’s performance during the rating period. Performance evaluations should recognize and employee achieving company goal sand deficiencies in the employee’s performance should be addressed. If a manager has been giving continuous feedback as issues arise, the employee will not be surprised by the contents of a performance evaluation and will be open to discussion. Such a discussion should be devoid of emotion and be focused on the issues at hand. Moral and ethical issues

A manager has a moral and ethical responsibility to be honest with his employee during continuous feedback. The manager should praise this employee when doing well and meeting objectives. If an employee is performing below standards, the manager must approach the employee and discuss the issue with dignity and respect.

Written performance evaluations should be an honest reflection of the employee’s performance during the rating period. Managers must use caution when preparing the performance evaluation and limit references to substandard performances to those that can be supported by additional documentation. Because the written performance evaluation becomes part of the employee’s personnel file, the manager has a moral and ethical responsibility to rate all employees who perform the same work equally and not base the evaluation on any biases he may have or conflicts he may have...
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