As attorneys, ethics are of the utmost importance to our business, but that is true for everyone at NAEM. For example, in dealing with compliance issues, a company’s sense of ethics and that they are accountable for behavior, are critical because there will inevitably be situations where people will have opportunities to cut things close to the line, or to cross the line in terms of ethical behavior. It is important in any organization that the leadership communicates that this is not the way the organization does business. This is true if it is a law firm, or whatever your industry.
The most important thing is to make sure that high ethical standards are a part of the culture of your business. There also needs to be an openness so that if there is an ethical question, people are comfortable raising it, and that they know they should raise it. With new employees, the importance of ethical behavior and ethical thinking is part of their orientation. In our performance evaluation process, which we do twice a year, ethical topics are included in the things we touch upon. We will as questions about: What has happened in your own personal practice? Were there any issues you feel needs to be discussed? Are there are any concerns in your work with others at the firm? So it becomes part of the way we do business. By emphasizing it in that context brings home the fact that the leadership of the firm places premium on ethical behavior and all else.