It’s tough for businesses to find workers to hire who are able to pass a drug test, let alone hire those who are ethical, says Corrie McGlothlin, director of the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau Center for Ethics.

The Cincinnati BBB may not be able help with the drug issue, but its Center for Ethics can help businesses with the ethics part of the equation, she says.

The center is the nonprofit educational arm of the Better Business Bureau that advocates for an ethical workplace, says McGlothlin. “We provide ethics education, direction and recognition to employees and employers of today and tomorrow,” she says.

Businesses or charities can come to the Cincinnati BBB offices or staff members can go to their office for the ethics-based training workshops, says McGlothlin. The workshops last between one to three hours, she says.

The ethics-based training workshops attempt to get people to think critically about ethics, says McGlothlin. Most of the training involves showing videos of various ethical dilemmas that could arise at work and then participants can choose how they would respond, she says.

“How do you handle the situation? Who’s affected by the decisions you make? We’re really trying to give them different ways to approach issues when they come up,” says McGlothlin.

In addition to teaching the ethics-based training workshops to employees of businesses and charities, she says the Cincinnati BBB Center for Ethics also conducts training at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati through the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.

Those students tend to think of ethics as right vs. wrong, says McGlothlin. “I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, I don’t steal. You know, basic ethics,” she says. “They don’t think of things like I made friends with my coworkers and my coworker tells me something confidential, but it could hurt the business.

“How do I handle that? Do I tell my boss on my friend? Or do I keep the secret but it could hurt my company?” says McGlothlin. “What we hear a lot is, ‘We never thought of that as an ethical dilemma.’”

The Cincinnati BBB Center for Ethics also awards up to four $1,000 scholarships each year to high school juniors who demonstrate a mastery of ethics, McGlothlin says.

But the most prestigious awards are given to businesses and charities in October at the annual Torch Award presentations. “It’s a celebration to recognize both businesses and nonprofits who are committed to conducting themselves ethically,” says McGlothlin. “It’s a very prestigious award in the city.”

A new program that will be launched during this year’s Torch Award ceremony Oct. 20 is called Gain by Giving, she says. If a charity has a need to have its walls painted or a new floor, roof, windows or plumbing installed the Cincinnati BBB Center for Ethics would let business members know about that need. 

“What we’re trying to do is trying to connect companies with nonprofits that have a need,” says McGlothlin. “So basically we’re going to be that middle person.”

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