Ethical values provide the moral compass by which we live our lives and make decisions – 'doing the right thing' because it’s the right thing to do.

The way we make decisions is important for organisations because the wrong decisions – or decisions which have been implemented badly – can have a significant impact on people’s lives and the reputation of organisations. So when we make decisions based on good principles, and live by good values, we can improve the lives of others and the experiences they have at work.

Even when a decision isn’t going to have positive outcomes for everyone, we can manage it in the best way possible by behaving ethically in the way we carry out that decision, and in the way we treat people.

We can do this by considering different ethical perspectives in our decision-making, challenging others on their decisions, being transparent about what we’re doing and why, and role-modelling our professional values, principles and integrity.

'In an era of increased transparency, perceptions are that unethical behaviour is increasing. As well as role modelling ethical behaviour individually, the people profession is often tasked with being the ethical conscience of an organisation. As a professional, habitual ethical practice is intrinsic in decision making and navigating dilemmas.'

'Internally, establishing a culture of ethical practice improves morale and reduces risks that arise from unethical practice. On a macro level, reputable ethical practice not only contributes towards good relations with customers, but has proven to impact financial performance.'

Tina Russell, Professional Conduct Manager, CIPD