Most people have a general idea of ethics. It’s making the right decision for the right reason. But ethics in decision making doesn’t just affect the person in charge. And that’s especially true for engineers, whose decisions can affect the lives of many.
That’s why engineering professional development hours include a requirement in ethics training. Where a question of ethics could affect several people in one type of business, such as a retail environment, the decisions of engineers could affect many not just now, but generations from now.
What Drives Ethical Decision Making
The same general principles of ethics come to play in business and in personal life. Rules for behavior, such as being truthful, following regulations, and generally the way people treat one another, are similar in most societies. They’re also the same whether you’re dealing with a work situation or a personal one.
PDH Academy’s Ethics module covers ethical decision making, how obligations affect those decisions, and how business ethics is inherently tied to personal ethics. While business and personal dilemmas are different, the people making those decisions are still humans. Experiences and societal norms form the foundation for all ethical decisions.
How Business Ethics Isn’t That Different From Personal Ethics
Personal beliefs drive the decision-making process. They also factor into the methods used to persuade others to see things a certain way. But where business persuasion should consider the broader scope, which is all people who will be affected, it’s still inherently human to take a narrower view.
Our Ethics module helps clarify the importance of recognizing the effect that decisions have on the larger community. Where it’s normal to consider the wellbeing of those closest to the problem, sometimes the big picture is even more important.
Ethics in Employee Development
In teaching employees, it’s important to remember that students of ethics usually learn better from live dialogue and the opportunity to make choices than by listening to one person give a lecture. Where a person can hear examples of how an ethical decision affected others and then participate in a discussion where all opinions are considered, the grand scheme makes a lot more sense.
Our Ethics module gives several examples of how to incorporate ethics training in a business setting, and which methods work best. The goal is to teach employees to spot an ethical dilemma and then use their training to strive for a better and broader understanding of the problem and everyone that it affects.
Ethics are taught, not inborn. A child might have the purest heart, but he also has the smallest view of the world because he can only understand how that world affects him. Everything else comes from training in one form or another.
Engineers have an enormous responsibility to consider how their decisions affect others. Their work touches the lives of so many, and for so long. PDH Academy offers Ethical Decisions and Moral Overload, among many other professional development hours courses to fulfill your requirements. The next time you have credits due, check out our courses, which are all conveniently accessible online.