Business ethics within corporations deal with the code of values a company adopts. They determine how the company operates and what it will potentially achieve in the long term. This year, businesses are faced with many difficult ethical questions and must understand the trends in industry as well as how to handle tough situations. In moral grey areas, businesses must take a stand on issues of all types, some of which include:
1) Honesty, Integrity, and Fairness
Don’t be afraid to turn away business when your products or services won’t benefit your clients. During the financial crisis, some banks – like BB&T – refused to offer the popular “pick-a-pay” mortgages (i.e. subprime loans) to customers. BB&T did not view these products as being in its customers’ best interest, despite their popularity. Other banks, like Citi, ignored this view and paid the price. BB&T came out of the crisis clean and on the side of honesty, while many of its competitors depended on a government bailout for survival.
2) Risk Management:
Overnight success is great for companies but sudden fast growth can cause a lack of focus on value and sacrifice quality. To solve the problem of faltering quality control, slow down growth. Don’t be a commodity product. Don’t cater to the masses. Create something for a niche market and refine your offering slowly over time. You don’t need to out-compete other companies. You only need to do better than you did last year.
3) Corporate Responsibility
There’s no necessary dichotomy between doing what is profitable and doing what’s right, but just make sure you’re doing it to the benefit of your shareholders and balancing the line between social and corporate responsibility. Don’t get lost in a moral fog. Stay honest and true to your business values. Your customers expect you to provide quality products and services and your shareholders expect you to make a certain amount of money – you have a responsibility to them. Make every move a profitable one for the long-term as much as you can.
4) Worker Exploitation
Even if you employees enjoy working overtime and staying on for longer hours each day, don’t take advantage of their willingness to work hard for you. Do, however, make your workplace inviting and comfortable to be in should they decide to stay late a few times a week.
5) Social Media
Or the ethics of buying “likes” and tweets. Some marketing departments within various companies have suggested that the company buy “likes” on Facebook and pay for “tweets” on Twitter to make the company look more popular. Instead of buying social signals on networking sites, double down on the marketing strategies that have worked in the past. Add social buttons for “likes” and “tweets.” If you get them, great. If not, don’t fret. What matters most is that you’re honest and profitable.
Guest post contributed by Trace Anderson, for aimcrm.com, CRM software for lead and customer relationship management.