Business Ethics

Have you ever walked away from a person or business because you deem them to have sub-standard business ethics?

Living excellent ethics in business is crucial to our success in dominating our market. They reflect who we are; our core values, our moral code, and our company culture. People buy people – people buy the ‘why’. We should choose our ethics on purpose; delivering them with purpose.

We see company work ethics reflected in all departments – from the toilet cleaner to the director. From Finance, HR, Management Strategy, Sales, Marketing, Production, Negotiation, Errors, Recruitment, Property, Customer Service, Intellectual Property, Compliance, Implementation, Processes & Policies – our business ethics are experienced on all levels, by all levels, whether they are client/customer or our own staff.

“The term ‘business ethics’ came into common use in the United States in the early 1970s. Firms started highlighting their ethical stature in the late 1980s and early 1990s, possibly trying to distance themselves from the business scandals of the day.” Wikipedia

Today we often market our Business Ethics in taglines and mission statements. We show them through our commitment to non-economic values including CSR (Corporate, Social Responsibility).

When I am considering which queue to join ‘checking out’ at Tesco’s I look at the person on the till rather than the length of the queue. I want to see how fast and efficient that person is. In other words it is not always right to join the shortest line to get the results I want.

We’ve all seen bad work ethics – when people don’t do what they say they are going to do. When businesses seek win/loose rather than win/win; when we don’t honour our word. Maybe we have been guilty of it ourselves. Bad ethics are bad news. Bad News travels fast.

Trust is key. We shouldn’t be too quick to judge and I do believe we should let someone know if we are not happy with the experience we are getting. Getting it right isn’t always easy – no-one ever said it would be.

A good litmus test would be to ask a member of staff if they know what the ethics are of the business. When answering, do they use any words that reflect our core-values or business culture? If they don’t know – they can’t support us.

Getting it right is on-going. As we move into another year I invite you to join me as I review my Business Ethics, communicate them and abide by them.