Seamless behaviour: There should be no demarcation between professional and personal best practices. Only then will an employee’s ethical side carry forward into his/her personal life. Once an organisation implements it cohesively, it becomes a default mode of living for its employees. That is how value systems get built.
Implement all pervasively: An ethical stance is not only to be practised within the organisation. Communicate and apply it when dealing with vendors, consumers and everyone who deals with the organisation. Looking for ways to beat the system or overstating should be strictly dealt with.
Hire right: Gauge for rigidity when hiring. Typically, years spent elsewhere moulds people into a fixed mindset, which is hard to change. It is easier to inculcate a sense of ethics or instill the DNA of the organisation, if the recruit has an open mind.
Uncompromising integrity: There is no grey area in integrity. Irrespective of seniority, one must let go of a performer who lacks integrity, since retaining him will set a bad precedent. Just issuing a warning for an unacceptable action also makes the organisation vulnerable to future misdemeanour.
Eat your cooking: Ethics can be preached, but is best understood only when demonstrated. Starting with the founding team to the current management, ‘zero intolerance’ must be the message for crossing the line. This means taking firm and swift decisions and always driving home the message.