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Family and personal issues
Maybe we can start by describing what is ethical. In the real sense, there is no definite term of describing what is ethical and what is not. We can only say that something is either ethical or not in the same case, not all lawful things are ethical. To be a good manager, one must assume the role of a role model. This is very possible unlike the way many employees perceive their managers to be some kind of 'enemy' or 'nightmare' who is specifically employed to make their lives at works unbearable (Corey, 2007).
Current and moral issues faced by managers
As mentioned earlier, managers can be role models. One of the ways to create a good relationship between a manager and the employees is by trying to understand each and every employee, not only professionally but also as a person. Turning a blind eye to an employee's personal life is not only unethical but also impractical. We must understand that most, if not all employees, have a personal life which includes a family and social life.
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The family life includes having a wife, children, brothers, sisters, father, mother, etc. If an employee experiences any difficulty or problem in this area, it will likely affect his/her performance at work and this is something a manager cannot afford. There are managers who won't understand that an employee failed to turn up at work because her mother, wife, husband, child or even the employee himself was sick. This is totally unethical and morally not right. If a family member is sick or even a loved one, it is almost impossible to concentrate at work. Personally, I have been a victim of such circumstances and I know in details (Stone, 2003).
As much as we want to go professional, ones personal life cannot be ignored. A good manager must be able to talk to his employees about their personal issues. Asking questions like 'how is your family? How are your children? Did you manage to see your mother? Did your son manage to get good grades?' etc. are a good start to getting an employee talk about their personal or family life. A manager can organize outdoor activities like picnics, games, lunch meetings etc just to get the people out of the working environment, and ease up in which they talk about their lives more freely.
Relationship between social issues and ethically responsible management practices
We have had cases where certain employees have done outrageous things like committing suicide or even killing other family members. This can reduce if managers take more time to know about their employees' social life. Ensuring an employee and his family is medically insured can highly play a great role in ensuring that an employees mind is settled even at the emergence of a sickness. This can be done by the employer providing a medical cover or coming up with a kitty that caters for medical issues. This is just one of the problems that distract employees from performing to their level best and thus affecting a manager's performance. Lack of school fees, poor salary and wages, lack of rent etc are others that affect an employee's performance (Winstanley & Woodall, 2000).
If a manager notes that an employee is going through some difficulties, it is only ethical for one to treat him/her fairly. If a manager notes that an employee is going through a divorce or marital problem, it is only ethical that he understands. Giving an employee some time off when they have lost a loved one, they are sick or even there a birth of a baby is one way of showing ethical management.
It has been mentioned earlier, that organizing social events which necessarily don't involve work is another way of showing ethical management. Having outdoor activities like picnics, outdoor games, and other social events plays a great role in improving the relationship between employees and employees and their managers.
A workplace example
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There is an experience in relation to personal and family issues where ethical management is concerned. In a former workplace (name is withheld due to security purposes), there was a manager who did not care about ones personal life. "Leave your personal issues at the gate on your way in and pick them up on your way out" he would keep on reminding us. It was almost like a morning call. Nobody wanted to have him as their manager. He was only interested in ones performance. There was absolutely no excuse of not coming in to work. Once, a fellow colleague failed to go to her grandfather's funeral for fear of being cut her salary since that was the consequence of failing to report on duty.
This sounds unreal, but that is what used to happen. Failing to report on duty meant that one was deducted their salary or had to work extra hours. This greatly affected the performance of the employees. We did work out of fear and not pleasure which made getting and to work become more of a punishment than something enjoyable. Some colleagues resigned while others left the profession completely. This is not good ethical management. Due to the poor management of that manager, this almost led to the failure of the business due to the high turnover of the employees and thus the loss of confidence in the customers (Mitchell, 2003).
There is another workplace, where the manager practiced ethical management. He would ask one about their family, health and we would also go for picnics and do outdoor games. It was really enjoyable working in that place. It also greatly improved our performance and the companies overall performance.