Business Ethics With Employees

The purpose of this document is intended to provide an answer to what ethical may arise based upon an employee devising a way to make their job better, if any at all. Also included within this document is a basic understanding of why it is important to share knowledge and information at the workplace.

When working in any type of position it is always a good idea to share information. By sharing information you are making yourself more marketable because you are the person that people will come to for information or on the job type of training. Without sharing information about the type of job you do, you are essentially digging yourself a hole where it may be difficult to get out of. This happens by performing a job that nobody else can do or what nobody else knows about, this means you cannot be replaced, however this means that if you go on vacation and there is a problem with the job, you are going to be the 1st person they call about it too. Also by working a position that nobody else knows or nobody else knows how to do, you are making it difficult for you to be promoted as well. It is always a good idea to share information in order to ensure more people know about your job and share the knowledge so that in the event you want to further your career, the company can easily find a replacement to fulfill the duties that you performed in that position (Lloyd, 2007).

Ethical issues can arise when an employee creates a product, idea, plan, process, or something that makes their job better or easier while they are on company time. Many companies have similar policies, which they make employee’s sign prior to employment. Herbalife’s policy states the following: “If you are an employee, you signed an agreement when you joined the Company, under which you assumed specific obligations relating to intellectual property as well as the treatment of confidential and proprietary information. Among other things in the agreement, you assigned to the Company all of your right, title, and interest in intellectual property you develop when you are employed in certain capacities, such as a managerial, technical, product planning, programming, scientific or other professional capacity (” For many companies, which make employees sign agreements like this one from Herbalife, it is common that a company can promote this idea, process, or whatever it may be that the employee created and the company can turn a profit and the employee may never see any addition profit.

In conclusion, many companies require you to protect their physical, proprietary, and intellectual assets. If you devise a way to make your job easier while you are at work, technically the company views this as they own it, however if you think of this on your off-duty time then technically you own it. This is an ethical gray area that most employees are unwilling to fight because they do not want to lose their pension and benefits. Even though it is always a good idea to share information both to your company and to other employees, always make sure credit goes to where credit is due and if there is any compensation for the credit, always ensure you get what you are entitled to.


1. Lloyd, Joan (2007, July 13th). Helping train replacement logical move – The Business Journal of Milwaukee:. Retrieved August 19, 2008, from Helping train replacement logical move – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: Web site:
2. Herbalife – Corporate Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Retrieved August 19, 2008, from Herbalife – Corporate Code of Business Conduct and Ethics Web site: [URL Removed Broken link]

Spread the love