Tongan employers need to emphasise confidentiality and workplace ethics

Dear Sir,

If there is one obvious issue that should be addressed in the workplaces in Tonga, it should be that of client confidentiality and workers’ ethical behaviour. We all know from common sense that keeping your clients’ personal information confidential is very important as it can have a very bad effect on the function of your organisation, if overlooked. Either you land yourself in hot water or lose your job, which unfortunately for some may be their primary source of income!

However, a lot of workplaces in Tonga, both government and non-government, are extremely poor in protecting their clients’ privacy. Nowadays, it’s common to hear employees gossip about a particular client’s personal life and personal dealings with the organisation. Government and non-government workplaces need to uphold the principle of maintaining client confidentiality. It is unquestionably inappropriate for an employee to discuss a client’s personal matters without their consent.

Let me give you an example: I have a friend who receives money from overseas. To her surprise, information about her financial affairs seems to have spread to people who have no right to know about her private life. The only way the information could have spread is from somebody involved in her transactions.

It angers me to see this kind of behaviour tolerated in the Tongan workforce. I strongly believe that CEOs and managers in government and non-government organisations in Tonga need to raise the bar in the workplace and highlight workplace confidentiality and ethical behaviour before clients do it for them.

Malo,

Soa’ileata Paseka

Editor’s note: This is an abridged version of the original letter.

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