It is important for every business to adopt proper business ethics. Many businesses are already taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, make efficient use of resources, give to charity and commit to trading fairly. Such companies are acknowledging there is a need to minimize any harm that might be associated with their business and impacting the community positively.
Business ethics is not designed to enhance profits, public relations or productivity. However, when it is applied appropriately, it can benefit businesses in various ways. Some of these benefits include:
Enhanced customer perception-Businesses that have ethical code are viewed in a positive manner by clients. In most cases, when ethical trade is incorporated into any brand, it becomes its selling point.
Cost-When a business makes a commitment to carbon reduction or recycling, it becomes part of a cycle that ultimately brings the prices down.
Recruitment- Through ethical policies, businesses are able to attract as well as retain highly talented employees and this also creates a positive working environment increasing productivity.
Legality –All business should be compliant with regulation and legislation but those businesses that operate in accordance to ethical values which comply with the law are not likely to into any legal issues.
Promotes productivity and cultivates solid, strong teamwork-Ethics aligns employee behaviors with those ethical values which are preferred by leaders. Ongoing dialogue and attention in the workplace helps build integrity, community and openness, ingredients that are extremely important in building teams that are strong in any business.
Support employee meaning and growth- Employees are able to face reality whether it is good or bad in themselves and the organization. In addition to this when solid ethics are upheld employees are able confidently deal with anything that comes their way.
Ethics in the business can act as insurance policy-Through ethics a business can ensure that its policies are legal. Taking into consideration there is an increase in the number of lawsuits related to personnel matters and which affect the business, it is important to have an ethics program. Ethical principals are state of the art legal matters as such they can be applied to major, current ethical issues and become legislation. Paying attention to ethics therefore ensures that ethical procedures and policies in the workplace are adopted.
Promotes market efficiency-This is especially true in regions where the law is inefficient or weak by rewarding the most ethical and best producers of services and goods.
There is no question that business ethics pays in the long term largely because it also contributes towards customer perception. In 2008, Wall Street Journal carried out a test in which it was proven that consumers were willing to pay slight premium for ‘ethical’ t-shirts and coffee and they expected steep discounts for the non-ethical products.
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