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Confidentiality in the Workplace

As an employee, you have an obligation to maintain confidentiality about certain matters. You get a sense of what they are after a short period of time. As a matter of fact, many companies will insist that you sign a confidentiality agreement. This could be in the field of law, medicine, manufacturing (with all their product secrets), or the restaurant business (recipes are not for the public or the competition). Of course, confidentially applies to many more businesses.

Can you handle this responsibility and not succumb to gossip whereby you reveal trade or ingredient secrets? If you spot a celebrity in your midst, such as at the dentist’s office, will you call the press? I know of one woman who was a medical assistant in a plastic surgery clinic who couldn’t wait to make some fast money by notifying the National Enquirer of the presence of a major star having a facelift. Are your ethics shallow or do you have a personal code?

Most people who take jobs where confidentiality is an issue are trustworthy. They don’t want to bear the burden of guilt. They are professional to the core and careful to abide by company policy. They will jeopardize the reputation of the company as well as their own if they slip. Some devious employees will tell the competition about their sales figures or an upcoming new product. It is all for money I suppose. They must hate their employer that much to give away vital information.

Confidentiality also exists in journalism and publishing. An honest reporter will not reveal his or her sources. This has been part of the morality of the industry for decades and decades. Some journalists have been willing to face prison rather than tell where they got their information. It is that important to them. Where would you stand? Have you ever been challenged about confidentiality by a boss? If you have never revealed corporate secrets, it can be insulting. No one wants to be put in that position so it is best to make sure no one accuses you falsely because you dropped a hint.

There is a bond of trust between an employer and an employee so you wouldn’t want to break it with a mistake. It can’t be worth divulging secrets and losing your job. You will never get a letter of recommendation. You may be barred from the industry. The grapevine reaches far and wide. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. A breach of confidentiality is punished by a tarnished reputation. It is also vital to be in the know enough about your company such that you don’t leak information that you think is public, but it is not.

Confidentiality is sacred in most companies large and small. It doesn’t matter the nature and size of the competition. It is simply wrong to give away important proprietary information. Surely you must agree. Would you ever be a whistleblower and reveal the existence of a mole in your environme

Carol Kay 12.12.2016 0 146
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12.12.2016 (954 days ago)
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