A Look at Workplace Ethics

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Interpersonal Studies

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (12) The student exhibits employability skills. The student is expected to:
      • (D) determine ethical practices in the workplace
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • understand the guidelines of ethical behavior
    • determine what they would do in workplace situations
  • Rationale

    Most individuals will work an average of 43 years before retiring. What skills do you need to be successful at the workplace? What are ethics and how do they relate to getting and keeping a job? Employers are looking for individuals who possess good work ethics and job-related skills. As you prepare to look for employment, it is important to consider what employers want in an employee.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Three 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Ethics: Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior; a set of beliefs about what is right and what is wrong

    Honesty: When you are truthful and loyal in your words and actions

    Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness

    Positive attitude: Behavior that shows someone is happy, has confidence in himself or herself or in others, and believes that life is good

    Professionalism: The ability to show respect to everyone around you while you perform your responsibilities as best as you can

    Skills: The ability to do something that comes from training, experience or practice

    Team: A group of two or more people who work together to achieve a common goal

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines for Internet access)
    • presenter remote


    Items which represent different occupations in Human Services:

    • baby items
    • calculator
    • counseling information
    • child care information
    • doctor’s coat
    • nurse’s uniform
    • picture of you, a Family and Consumer Sciences instructor
    • play food
    • play money
    • shopping bag

    Other appropriate lessons

  • Anticipatory Set

    Prior to class:

    Note to teacher – Become familiar with:

    The Texas Work Prep Learning Management System (LMS) designed and hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission. The Job Hunter’s Guide Course – This course will allow students to gain knowledge and skills to attain employment. The course is approximately an hour and a half long. Students will receive a certificate upon completion of this course which can be printed and added to their professional portfolios.

    Display as many of the lesson-related supplies (see Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed) as you have available on a table in front of the room.

    Become familiar with PowerPoints™, handouts and activities.

    Before class begins:

    Write the terms “ethics” and “work skills” on the board or overhead. Distribute Think-Ink-Pair-Share: Workplace Ethics (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. The Think-Ink-Pair-Share activity is an excellent prior knowledge activity that helps students to focus their thoughts on a specific topic. The students are asked to first think about what they know, record their ideas on the handout and then pair up with someone to share what they wrote. The final stage is a large group discussion.

    Topic: You have recently opened your own business and are in the process of hiring twenty new employees. What workplace ethics and work skills are important to you and the success of your new business?

    Allow students time to complete this activity.

    • What are ethics?
    • Why are ethics important?
    • How do work skills relate to the success or failure of a business? Of being employed?
    • What ethics and work skills do you possess?

    Lead students to share and discuss their responses.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute handout Note Taking: A Look at Workplace Ethics (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Teacher will determine the notes to be recorded by students.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ A Look at Workplace Ethics (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and begin the discussion with students. Allow for questions and answers to check for understanding.

    Distribute Workplace Ethics (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will complete the table by listing workplace ethics, the importance of having those particular ethics in the job market, methods of obtaining the ethics and resources to obtain the ethics.

    Allow for questions and discussion. Check for understanding.

    YouTube™ video included in the PowerPoint™:

    • Ethics in the Workplace!
      A presentation on how companies can easily implement business ethics in the workplace and still achieve their goals.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing a copy of the slide presentation

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce the Texas Work Prep Learning Management System.

    Direct students to the Texas Succeed at Work Course.

    Inform students that this is an interactive free assessment that will allow them to enjoy their jobs and learn more about ethics.

    • Succeed at Work Stages
    • Acting Self-Employed
    • Starting a New Job
    • Being an Excellent Employee (Work Ethics)
    • Living a Balanced Life
    • Enjoying Your Current Position

    After completing the course, students will be able to pass a short quiz to receive their printable certificates.

    Stress the importance of having this type of documentation in their professional portfolios.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allowing students extra time to complete the assignment
    • providing fill-in-the-blank note handouts for students to follow and fill in during the lesson
    • pairing students with elbow partners who can assist them with verbal and written responses to the lesson

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute What Makes a Good Employee? (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will evaluate their workplace skills by answering each of the statements on the handout based on the way it describes them. They will mark A for always, S for sometimes and N for never. The students will calculate their answers by following the instructions on the handout.

    Allow for questions and discussion. Check for understanding.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • shortened, simplified instructions
    • repeated instructions
    • opportunities to repeat instructions
    • written instructions

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Students will complete 3-2-1 Strategies for Job Success (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. This will be their exit pass. Student must answer the questions about what they learned before being allowed to leave the room.

    Display a few copies of the following poster and discuss in class:

    Employee Rights Poster (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    The students will write a one-page summary analyzing the importance of workplace ethics and skills. Students will reflect on how the lesson, activities and information will assist them in the future. The reflection and various handouts will be submitted for assessment.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • encouraging participation
    • extended “wait time”
    • working with a peer tutor
    • highlighted materials for emphasis

  • References/Resources


    • Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft.


    • Parnell Frances Baynor. (2001). Skills for personal and family living. (pp. 195-206). Tinley Park: The Goodheart-Willcox Publishing Company.
    • Sasse Connie. (2004). Families today. (4th ed., pp. 285-304). New York: McGraw Hill Glencoe.


    • Ethics Resource Center (ERC)
      ERC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to independent research that advances high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions.


    • Ethics in the Workplace!
      A presentation on how companies can easily implement business ethics in the workplace and still achieve their goals.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • Ask students to repeat your instructions back to you to be sure they know what is expected of them before each phase of the lesson.
    • Discuss vocabulary in detail and make sure everyone has a firm grasp on it before moving forward with the lesson.
    • Use graphic organizers and visuals to explain the lesson in detail.
    • Utilized Four Corners Vocabulary / Word Wall Activity http://cte.sfasu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Four-Corner-Vocabulary2.pdf
    • Have students say and write the vocabulary words in their primary languages.
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website http://www.achievetexas.org/index.html provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Current Events:
    Assign students to read about the importance of work ethics and skills. Information can be found in newspaper articles, magazines, journals and online print.

    • Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
      Professional ethics are the core of social work. The NASW Code of Ethics offers a set of values, principles and standards to guide decision-making and everyday professional conduct of social workers. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings.
    • Encourage students to connect reading to their life experiences or prior knowledge.
  • Quotes

    What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.
    -Jason Fried, Rework

    Good is the enemy of great.
    -Jim Collins

    A bad hair day is not a valid excuse for calling in sick.
    -Tadahiko Nagao

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • A Look at Workplace Ethics
    • Presentation Notes for A Look at Workplace Ethics


    Free iPad Apps


    • Ethics in the Workplace!
      A presentation on how companies can easily implement business ethics in the workplace and still achieve their goals.

    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizers:

    • Note Taking: A Look at Workplace Ethics


    • 3-2-1 Strategies for Job Success
    • Employee Rights Poster
    • Think-Ink-Pair-Share: Workplace Ethics
    • What Makes a Good Employee?
    • Workplace Ethics

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • I will demonstrate a 100% commitment at my workplace by _______________.
    • An employer can encourage a good work environment in which work ethics are practiced by _______________.
    • Some examples of poor work ethics are __________________.

    Writing Strategy:

    RAFT Writing Strategy
    Role – Employer
    Audience – High school employee
    Format – Memo
    Topic – The importance of ethics at the workplace

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • If I owned a business, I would want my employees to possess the following work ethics: ____________.
    • Work ethics are important because ______________.
    • Stealing from your workplace is wrong because ________________.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Allow students to create their own code of ethics for your classroom. This will encourage them to follow their own rules in the classroom. Display the code of ethics in a prominent area to be reviewed during the school year.
    • Have students complete a ticket out with at least one employability workplace skill they are going to need in the 21st century. A ticket out is a half sheet of paper that students are required to fill out in order to leave class. It gives the teacher an idea of how well the students grasped the concept learned in class that day.
    • Have students create a paragraph by answering each of these questions: What-Why-How on Employability Skills– What do you think about the topic? (your opinion) Why do you think it? (reasons) How do you know? (evidence or examples).
    • Ethics Resource Center
      Includes tips and guidelines for writing codes of ethics, an ethics glossary, values definitions and other short articles on the practice of organizational ethics. Students can develop their own ethical standards for the teaching and training profession.
    • The nonprofit organization Workplace Fairness provides workers with information about many issues, including employee rights. Have students pick an issue that they find interesting and write a summary explaining how it affects workers, why they think it is important and how workers can deal with it at:
  • Family/Community Connection

    Discuss ethics with your family and decide on the most important values for your family.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)


    • Interpersonal Communications – An individual or team event – recognizes participants who use Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations skills and apply communication techniques to develop a project designed to strengthen communication.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to the lesson.

    Students can promote ethical workplace behavior by presenting information at a job fair or other community venues detailing qualities for responsible employees.

  • All Attachments