There is information that you will obtain on the job that is in the nature of business secrets. A business secret is the formulation of technology or information that a business uses to create and supply a competitive product to customers, clients and the market.
If this information is leaked to the market, the business may face undue failure in one area or another. It is therefore the ethical responsibility of employees to keep the employers’ productions secrets.
However, the work environment provides an employee with access to a much greater range of personal and confidential information by virtue of collegial interaction. When you discover, for example, that your Boss’s wife is ill or you colleague’s son is a college dropout do you have licence to publish this information – even if it is true?
This “in confidence” becomes gossip that demeans you colleagues and distorts the focus on work to personality differences, personal perceptions and very damaging “hearsay”. Unfortunately, unethical employees can use confidential, personal information and rumours to destroy careers colleagues.
A successful, productive and convivial working environment cannot be maintained without everyone adhering to the principles of confidentiality.