Dilemmas with Company Policy
Different areas that we work with can contribute to different types of dilemmas, and company policy is one of them. Can you think of a company policy that could pose an ethical dilemma for you or your colleagues?
In this session, you’ll consider dilemmas with company policy and how best to consider your options.
It sounds unlikely, but it is possible that company policy will place you in an ethical dilemma.
For example, let’s say that you’re an insurance broker. Your company’s operations manual states that you must always provide the customer with the lowest quote you have obtained. You know that the company that always offers the lowest quote has terrible customer service and has a history of denying legitimate claims. You also know that their quote does not include taxes and service fees, but both your company’s policy and the insurance company’s policy forbids you from telling customers this.
Most people would see two solutions to this problem: find another job or learn to live with the policy. However, there is a third option: be the catalyst for change.
The Third Option
You should bring the ethical issues about the policy to the attention of your supervisor. For example, perhaps s/he is not aware of the issues with the lowest-bidding company. Make sure this discussion takes place in private at a good time for both of you, when you can sit down and fully discuss the issue. You’ll also want to phrase your concerns in a way that doesn’t blame anyone.
For example, you might want to say, “I’ve come across a possible issue with our quoting policy that’s making me a bit uncomfortable. We’ve agreed to always provide the lowest quote to customers, but the company that provides the lowest quote has a reputation for some unethical practices. As well, there are some hidden fees that may actually mean they’re not the lowest provider.”
Remember that supervisors want to hear about solutions as well as problems, so before you meet, try to come up with some ways that the dilemma can be resolved.
In this example, you might suggest that your company revise their policy so that you can provide several quotes to your customers. You might also request that your company meet with the insurance company in question to clarify their fee structure and to request that your company be allowed to share all information with customers.