My friends envy me, but they don't know that I'm living a lie
- May your conscience lead you to raise your concerns using internal channels provided by your employer.
- What goes around comes back around. Speaking out may save many, but the best reward will be your clear conscience.
While in university, I desired to work for one of the leading insurers in the region. Their professionalism, attractive remuneration and good working conditions attracted me. Thankfully, I secured a full-time job there two years after graduating. However, I soon discovered that unethical business practices and overworking are rampant within the company. Now I’m the envy of my former classmates, but I feel I’m living a lie. Please advise.
Unethical behaviours, which include actions that violate the law or company policies, are wrong and a clear pointer to a culture of deliberate deception and double speak.
It takes men and women of certain values to thrive in such an environment - people who have no conscience and who mortgage their values for money.
You ask for my advice and I see two choices: You could stay put and be party to the unethical practices, or you could challenge the status quo.
There will be consequences for this, but in the event that you lose your job, you will leave with your head high.
There is something that bothers me so much about our country. Lately we have witnessed shocking unethical practices, from harmful products being used to keep meat fresh, selling of expired products, outright theft and looting in public institutions, to exploitation of employees through poor remuneration and unfavourable working conditions.
All these practices are witnessed by employees who can choose to either keep quiet, or speak out.
May your conscience lead you to raise your concerns using internal channels provided by your employer. I suspect that you are not the first to witness these things.
You could look for others who are equally concerned, tap in to the power of collective pressure and raise your concerns as a group.
You could also use anonymous channels and provide clear pointers as to where investigations could start.
Some employers often conduct employee engagement surveys. This is another good forum to share your concerns.
You could also drop an anonymous letter to external parties and highlight these malpractices. But by remaining silent, you are equally guilty.
Sometimes employees practice unethical behaviour on their part, although they tend not to see this.
Misuse of employer’s time or assets for personal gain, taking personal credit for work done by others, setting unachievable targets for teams to deny payment of commissions, misrepresenting benefits of a product to make sales, or opting not to speak out when they witness serious malpractice.
I’m reminded of the story of a doctor who fell sick, only to find himself under the care of one of his students whom he had undeservedly allowed to pass exams and graduate.
What goes around comes back around. Speaking out may save many, but the best reward will be your clear conscience.
Mwikali Muthiani - Managing Partner, MillennialHR (@MwikaliN; )