The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do?

Wednesday 5 May, 2021
by Anonymous

You are the Regional Head of Human Resources for a large financial institution with offices globally. The organisation has recently made a public statement about their commitment to climate action and released a climate action plan.

All employees globally are now required to have their email signatures include a link to the public statement and action plan. The signature graphic states "We support climate action". 

An employee in Sydney – Frank - has requested a meeting with your team. He is an active member of the diversity and inclusion committee and manages the training for Sydney employees. Frank is a high performing employee and has a great reputation across the business and is highly influential on organisational culture.

Frank tells you that he has a personal objection to the organisation’s Climate Action Plan and does not wish to include the mandatory branding for the campaign on his company email signature. He believes that as an organisation who supports employees bringing their whole selves to work, the organisation should respect a diversity of views including employees who feel that their personal values are being compromised by their duties.

Head office has stated that this is a priority and all employees with a company email address must be onboarded to support the changes. 

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

We challenge you to create a healthy discussion with your colleagues and post a comment below. You could even encourage them to consider taking The Banking and Finance Oath!

Please share your ethical dilemmas with us - we can post them anonymously. You can email your dilemmas to dilemma@thebfo.org

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

 

Comments

There are 4 comments for The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do? .

Re: The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do?

Thursday 6 May, 2021
by Joe
"Whole self" policies have a range of benefits for both company and staff, but this example highlights one of the downsides. The logical extension of this brings us to the debate about organisations (e.g. religious or cultural organisations) only hiring those who subscribe to organisational values.

Re: The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do?

Thursday 6 May, 2021
by Aysha
This is a really interesting dilemma and I honestly don't know what I'd do! On one hand, Frank is using his company email and therefore should respect that it is a professional channel with a dedicated use for work - in this respect he is communicating on behalf of the organisation and if it's a priority he should be comfortable about having that on his email signature. On the other hand, if the org supports diversity, they should respect his personal view on the topic.
I think it probably warrants the organisation prompting Frank as to whether his personal values are in tension with the organisational values and how he feels about that.
I'm going to take this dilemma in to my team meeting today and ask my team to discuss!

Re: The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do?

Thursday 6 May, 2021
by Caro
I don't think he should be made to conform. He is an high performing employee, who is pro diversity and inclusion (so is aligned to his company) and I believe he should have the ability to have his own "free speech or belief" on this topic of climate, which he is not even publicising, he just doesn't want the company climate statement/link on his email.

Re: The ethics of bringing your whole self to work... what would you do?

Tuesday 11 May, 2021
by Dan
As a priority for the company, they could include the branding on the signature as a default but provide employees with the option to remove it if they wish. That way the company’s on-brand message will be shown in the vast majority of comms, whilst those employees (whether high performers or not) are free to object without repercussion.

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