In today’s world where almost everyone is socially aware, entrepreneurs must be wary of how they present their brand. Ethical business practices must be put in place so the company will have a good reputation. Having a good sales strategy is crucial for companies, but implementing ethical business principles is just as important.
What does having an ethical business really mean? According to Investopedia, business ethics is defined as such:
To put things simply, it is the practice of administering policies into your company to further address controversial issues. It is often guided by the mandated law, but every brand has the right to come up with its own ethical strategies so its consumers can relate to them. Your business’ reputation lies in your target market’s hands, and your message must resonate with them for them to trust you.
What are the Signs of an Ethical Business?
In this article, we will discuss some of the ethical traits that a company must implement in its organization.
Showcases Honesty and Integrity
Having an ethical business practice starts with how you treat your employees. You must provide your staff with ample benefits and treat them equally. Your team members are the backbone of the company and therefore, it is right to give them what they truly deserve. Here are a few ways to execute fairness and honesty within the workplace:
- Respect each employee and treat them with dignity.
- Provide an environment wherein everyone can feel safe. Make it clear that discrimination is not tolerated in the office.
- Show your staff that they can trust you.
- Have an open-door policy so everyone will feel heard and supported.
- Promote teamwork and transparency within the office.
- Let your employees know about the importance of honesty, fairness, and integrity.
Additionally, business owners must also showcase honesty to their customers and third-party vendors. Implement competitive pricing and provide high-quality products to develop a strong relationship with your buyers.
Caring for the Customers and the Environment
Every business has an impact on something – whether that’s regarding the people, environment, or the economy. As an ethical company, you must be wary of how you are affecting the things around you, and it is crucial to address these issues.
Take Starbucks, for example. They pride themselves in ethically sourcing sustainable products that they use for their company. Also, they directly source their coffee, tea, cocoa, and even manufactured goods from smallholder farmers and a diverse set of suppliers. In addition, Starbucks make sure that these vendors share the same vision as them, and that these products are carefully and ethically sourced. Because of this, they have been named as one of the world’s most ethical companies.
Look for third-party vendors and partners that share the same mission and vision with your company. You might not notice the effect that it will have on the environment and the people, but it will surely pay off in the future.
Being a Great Example
If you want to be a leader in your industry, then you must start by being a great role model. It is not enough to have a rulebook regarding your code of conduct; you and your employees must live and breathe what is said on the guidelines. To start, you can share your own personal stories and challenges regarding the company. This will not only help create a tone that your consumers will appreciate and relate to, but it will also inspire other businesses to do the same.
Owning Up to Their Mistakes
It is not an easy feat to own up to your mistakes, especially if you have thousands of eyes on you. However, ethical businesses know how important it is to admit their wrongdoings and make up for them. You might encounter irate customers during the process, but it is crucial to address them firsthand so they know that you care enough to fix your mistakes.
Follow these tips when owning up to your blunders:
- Act quickly and avoid staying silent amidst the issue. Talk to your marketing or disaster recovery team and ask them which course you should take.
- Admit your faults and avoid blaming them on others. People applaud brands who are brave enough to stand up and own up to their errors.
- Apologize and be sincere about it. People can sense a fake apology, and you can lose potential and current consumers if you appear to be insincere.
- Offer solutions and let the people know that you will work towards becoming a better company.
Keeping Their Promise
If you made a promise to your employees or customers, then make it a point to deliver as soon as possible. Doing this will help make them see that you value their trust and that you are dedicated to serving them. Professionalism and being consistent are some of the most important factors in an ethical business. If you’re all talk and no action, people wouldn’t care to support your brand.
An ethical business knows how to practice compassion for people and the environment. You must know how to be genuine and kind to your buyers, the vendors, and everything and everyone surrounding the company. This means you have to make sure that you will cause minimal damage while producing your products and services. To do this, you have to consult with your teams and carefully discuss how you can provide high-quality items to people without having to compromise certain factors.
Moreover, you also have to make sure that you will provide fair compensation to your employees. Give out rewards and awards to make them feel appreciated, as well as leave credits and health benefits to show them that you care about their well-being.
Lastly, you can also try reaching out to your local communities and see if there is anything you can do to help the people out.
Implementing ethical business behaviors to your company is a challenge that you must take on this year and beyond. More and more people are becoming aware of how businesses present themselves, and it’s time to show them that you, too, can become a frontrunner in the industry. Try starting with the six ethical business tips that we have discussed above and see which one works best for your brand.