We’ve published a series of career advice articles for administrative employees on how to stay professional in the workplace. If you work in an office, you might find any one of these applicable to your day-to-day as well.
One of the International Association of Administrative Professionals’ core values is integrity: “Demonstrated by honesty, accountability and ethical behavior consistent with an abiding respect for the dignity and value of individuals.” Sounds simple enough, but administrative professionals can easily find themselves stuck between following directions with a can-do attitude and strictly adhering to the company’s (and their personal) code of ethics. You want to keep your organization running smoothly and exceed expectations of those you support, but what if you are asked to turn a blind eye to an unethical behavior or forced to break a rule in order to meet a supervisor’s request?
Administrative professionals are often expected to support multiple employees simultaneously, and consequently, their loyalties are stretched and challenged. In fact, according to the American Management Association’s “A Global Study of Business Ethics, 2005–2015,” the top two drivers for unethical behavior in the workplace are “pressure to meet unrealistic business objectives/deadlines” and “desire to further one’s career.”
If a situation gives you pause, listen to your gut. Trust your instincts if something doesn’t seem right to you. Researching internal policies and external regulations can help you determine how to handle a situation, but some cases aren’t so black and white.
Here are 10 integrity-challenging situations. Think about what you would do, then review our suggested strategies for addressing the issue:
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