Do Ethics Impact Employee Performance?

I was interested to read recently research by Swedish medical practitioner and professor Stefan Einhorn in his capacity as a member of the Ethics Committee at the Karolinska Institutet. The research was around differing ‘intelligences’ as human beings that make us effective or if we don’t have a grasp of them, ineffective. Past research has indicated that IQ is a measurement of intelligence and that EQ (emotional intelligence) measures our ability to handle our emotions in different situations. There is much discussion in business, HR and psychology circles, blogs and sites, about how this ability impacts employees performance.
However Einhorns research says that there is also such a thing as ‘ethical intelligence’. This is our ability to be, and do good.

So does being and doing good make up a part of employee performance? And should we be considering ethical intelligence when recruiting employees or assessing their performance?

How does this impact performance? Einhorns says ethics are all about relationships, the dilemma of small decisions we make day to day and how to behave like a good human being towards your fellow man.

Real life examples include example like, do I follow the office tea room rules and be good by washing up my coffee cup and risk being late for the meeting? Or do I support my struggling fellow colleague with a job task in the name of ‘good team work’ or do I get back to my customer before 12pm?

Have you talked about ethics with your team at work? Is it clear what types of ethical behaviour are expected and how dilemmas such as those above will be treated in terms of employee performance evaluation?

It is great to consider and think over on the area where ethics impact employee performance.