Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Just looking at some of the most recent company scandals to have hit the news makes anyone question if ethical standards are even still a thing to strive for. Although there is no hiding the fact that these things do happen, it is up to every single business owner to be the change he or she seeks. Here are just a few ways your company can begin implementing ethical practices.
Create a Clear Set of Values
One of the best ways to get your point across to employees about the goal of producing a more ethical business is to create a clear set of values. People improve their odds of achieving their objectives when they are specific and clear, and the same applies to companies. Knowing where your company stands is an incredibly important component of being ethical. When clear values are not set, you are essentially sailing without a compass. Self-awareness is the key to getting on track because you then know where your problem areas reside. It is this self-awareness that then allows you to craft a compass for your company. As an added bonus, having clearly defined and stated company values tends to help companies retain employees who share those values. They also have a tendency to attract new employees who identify with the company's values as well.
Treat Employees Well
When employees decide to leave your business, they will say one of two things: either it was a great experience, or it was the worst thing they’ve gone through. According to SHRM, treating your employees well, although not spoken about often, is a crucial step to a more ethical workplace. This is accomplished through a variety of actions, such as praising good work, being transparent, treating everyone fairly, and listening when they want to speak with you. If you need a way to feel out the vibe in your office, consider using a confidential or anonymous survey that allows them to rate their feelings towards the company as well as enter their own comments. These surveys can provide valuable insights into how employees really feel about their workplace that you can then use to steer your company in the direction you feel it should be going.
Comply With the Law
Although this might seem like a no-brainer for most people, unfortunately, we live in a world where breaking the law is encouraged for profit. It should always be told to employees that breaking the law in any form is not a part of the core values of your business. In addition, infrastructure that encourages them to report any situations in which they may think people are breaking the law should be in place and made common knowledge, even if it's your company doing it. According to Meissner Associates, an employee can’t be harassed, threatened, fired, or face any other retaliation for exposing illegal activity.
The environment you harbor within your company will affect the way you progress as a business. This is why many of the larger companies focus so much on providing consistent ethical training to their employees. With the tips listed above, any business can quickly begin developing an environment of good ethics.
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