Business ethics and moral values, along with regulations, govern the corporate world. Situations not expressly governed by a law or regulation should be decided according to ethical standards set up by a particular business or corporation. Ethics are standards companies use to conduct their operations regardless of who is watching.
Your standards are what define your company. Ethics should never be for sale to the highest bidder. With the drive to increase profits and sales in business, it would be easy to cast aside ethics in the process. Deviation from your standards is all it will take to tarnish your image.
Adhering to a standard must be in the forefront of any business decision. Everyone makes mistakes. How your company corrects those mistakes makes all the difference. If people realize corporations are having trouble making the right decision, it will leave an unfavorable impression, and changing a poor first impression can be a daunting task.
Ethical standards must be absolute. Standards suffer forever if cast aside in favor of a short term gain. The perception is there no matter the reason. It will be an up-hill battle to re-gain your reputation. Businesses want tidy employees and clean floors. They want to project an image. Present a good business image by having good moral and ethical standards.
Not every situation has a rule or regulation to look too. Morals of the company and its people decide the solution based on standards. Companies do not cheat their clients. They do not practice underhanded accounting practices. The right decision may not always be the most profitable or easiest. Having ethical standards has given businesses the tools to make the right decision each time.
Having standards and ethics written in the guidebook is one thing. Putting them into practice every day is another. Rules are not for appearance’s sake. They need to be there in order to practice them. Giving people the impression of ethics by claiming to have them is not the same as proving good business practices to which to work from. When ethical dilemmas arise, people will be watching to see how they are resolved. Reacting to a crisis says a lot about the company. How fast your organization gets in front of it, shows decisiveness.
Owning up to mistakes after others have pointed them out shows weak ethical standards. No one is perfect. Mistakes happen on a daily basis. Practicing strong standards will set the foundations to prevent mistakes. There are no shortcuts to making ethical decisions. Decisions made based on solid standards that are transparent and will always give your business the upper hand in dealing with ethical dilemmas.
Playing by the rules does not make your company weaker. Fairness is the cornerstone of any operation. Your company is there for the long-term, to gain in the short by breaking the rules will bring your business down. Playing fair will bring solid long-term gains. This will show your clients and other businesses that they are able to rely on your business, for their future, as well.
Being smarter and shrewder than the competition is what makes a company successful. Being dishonest and cutting corners, while maybe offering gains in the short term, will eventually lead to ruin. Solid strategies combined with exceptional employees with solid ethical standards will carry your company forward and into the future for years to come.