Promoting the culture of ethics in the workplace

Every day we make thousands of decisions. As government employees, the decisions made may seem simple – but in fact they may pose an ethical dilemma. A keen understanding of ethical principles, ongoing training, and a code of ethics are key tools for VML Insurance Programs’ member entities to consider in establishing a culture of ethics in the workplace.

Ethics Awareness MonthMarch is National Ethics Awareness Month – and as such, it’s a good time to think about strengthening the ethical culture of our organizations.

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has provided several important strategies for use in developing an ethical culture:

1)    Ethics standards come from leadership

2)    Define organizational values and behaviors – perhaps through a Code of Ethics

3)    Challenge bad behavior – don’t overlook wrongdoings

4)    Training – build awareness of common ethical problems and provide tools and strategies employees can use

5)    Promote your values – publicly and consistently

As far as training goes – VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) can help!

VMLIP has free training tools for use by members, including the Ethical Decision Making course available through the VMLIP Online University. This 30 minute course reviews what it takes to make ethical decisions on the job, including how to use organizational values as a personal guideline, how to dissect tough ethical dilemmas, and how ethical decision-making can benefit the employee. The course code is WP15.

Additionally, VMLIP Director of Human Resources Tina Stevens presented the Ethical Considerations in the Public Sector webinar in February. The webinar provides an overview of ethics standards and addresses their importance in the public sector. The webinar also provides examples of some of the ethical challenges members may face. A recorded version is available online to members with public official’s liability coverage.

VMLIP also has two videos concerning ethics available in the VMLIP Multimedia Library, including:

  • Cops & Ethics – DVD (17 minutes): Reviews the do’s and don’t’s of proper ethical procedures through more than a dozen real-world scenarios. Also includes discussion questions and additional scenarios for review. Multimedia Library
  • Government Ethics – DVD (11 minutes): Examines the ethical principles common to all government codes of ethics. Multimedia Library

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800.  For more information on VMLIP visit: or follow us on Facebook.

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