Ethics: The Best PR

25 01 2013

Scenario: Part-time Job
Subject: Employee
Topic: The Importance of Ethical Behavior

One of the most important PR practices is being ethical at all times. In order to illustrate this point I will draw upon a personal experience, as they are the kind I am most familiar with. I learned about the importance of maintaining a high level of ethical behavior at all times by getting fired.

When I was 16 I began to work at a local restaurant. I had worked for the restaurant for a little over a year when a new kitchen manager was hired. She and I were working during the same shift and the kitchen was short staffed. Throughout the night the manager was trying to help out, but was unfamiliar with working in the kitchen. At the end of the night I went to my lead and suggested that the manager could maybe be scheduled in the kitchen and trained like she would be as a regular kitchen employee so she could help out on busy nights.

This was the established channel to submit suggestions: employees to leads, leads to managers, and then managers would discuss it in their manager meeting and decide on a course of action.

While I was meeting with the lead the manager saw us talking. She got upset and started yelling, “I know what you’re talking about you sons of ____! If you’re just going to sit here and complain, then I don’t want you here!” I was done with my shift so I went home.

The next day I got a call from the general manager and was asked to come in to work. I went into his office and he informed me that I was fired based on some accusations made by the manager.

A little over a month later I was asked to come back and work at the restaurant with increased pay and an apology from the general manager.

The general manager had discussed the incident with some of the other managers and restaurant leads. When he talked with all these people and dug a little more he found out a few things about me

  1. I had never exhibited any of the behaviors or traits that I had been accused of.
  2. I had repeatedly covered extra shifts and stayed late to help others with their closing duties.
  3. I had been honest and had followed the established rules and codes of conduct.

And the other manager

  1. Who had been dishonest in several instances.
  2. Who had broken some of the rules and codes of conduct.
  3. Who had also lied about some qualifications.

The fact that I had behaved ethically and adhered to the standards set by my employer is what eventually resulted in my raise. It also resulted in the general manager believing me over an employee twice my age with twice my experience. The general manager continues to be a friend of mine and has repeatedly expressed an available position if I ever want it. The raise and potential job position are not due to my skill or experience, but is primarily due to my high standards of ethics that I expressed during my previous employment.

As graduates from BYU-Idaho, the most valuable asset we have going out into the workplace is an abnormally high level of morality and ethics. While this is not always considered an asset, good morality and ethics are essential to the PR field and any other industry.

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