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Business Ethics: Your Guide to Doing Right by Your Employees, Customers and Community

In a world where profit is the sole focus of many organisations, it can be easy to forget about the people behind the business. That's why it's so important to have strong business ethics in place, no matter if you are a small local shop or a large international corporation. Business ethics are essential for success in any industry because they set the standards for how businesses should interact with their customers, employees, and community. In this article, we will take a closer look at the seven key business ethics that make up the foundation of any successful business.


Business Ethics Your Guide to Doing Right by Your Employees, Customers and Community by Two Marketing

 

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What are business ethics and why should you care about them?


As business practices evolve over time, it is important to stay up-to-date with professional ethics in order to maintain success and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). From truthfulness and trustworthiness to fairness and respect, these ethical issues encompass the principles business people must adhere to when making business decisions. Being aware of corporate ethics encourages business owners to take a principled approach when running their company, leading to improved performance, new business and greater customer loyalty.


With a greater understanding of all seven guidelines, you are better equipped to identify wrongdoings and potentially mitigate damages associated with ethical violations. Additionally, businesses seeking recognition for their commitment to ethical standards may leverage ethics in business as benchmarks for corporate excellence.


The principles of business ethics


Making sure ethical behaviour is a priority not only sets the stage for successful relationships within the workplace but also sets the tone for how customers interact with and experience your goods and services. Plus, ethical practices show potential customers that you are trustworthy and consistently uphold moral principles - two core values that draw people in and encourage them to choose your brand or service. In other words, business ethics are nothing less than integral for success. There's even evidence that ethical businesses outperform those without ethical practices in the long run! Running a business with high ethical standards is incredibly important to gain a competitive advantage and achieve overall success.


The principles of business ethics

The 2021 business ethics survey results have revealed that the British public view tax avoidance, bribery and corruption as the most pressing ethical issues plaguing the UK.


It appears that there is now a heightened awareness of ethical wrongdoing within businesses, with the public expecting companies to operate within legal boundaries and respect acceptable values. The findings are especially concerning considering how much damage these practices can cause - whether it be to individuals or society more generally. By speaking out against these unethical behaviours, we have a chance of creating a stronger, fairer society where everyone can benefit from and contribute to positive change.


Why developing and enforcing your own code of ethics is important


Becoming a successful business isn't just about making money; businesses must also operate ethically and responsibly. Business ethics refers to the principles, values, and standards that guide behaviour within an organisation or business.


Developing and enforcing your own code is an essential step in fulfilling business responsibilities. This will help establish guidelines on what is considered right and wrong while providing clarity and direction when it comes to business decisions. A defined framework will also ensure that everyone in the business is aware of their rights, duties, and expectations towards each other and the business itself. Creating a strong business ethical culture should be an exciting endeavour.


When it comes to developing a business ethics policy, organisations must take into account the unique needs of their business and the expectations of their stakeholders. It is essential that businesses not only define ethical guidelines but also enforce them. Here are some tips to help you get started:


Establish a code of conduct:

Define clear rules and regulations that employees must abide by. Make sure that every employee understands their responsibility and the consequences if they don’t follow these rules.


Set clear expectations:

It is important to set out the expected behaviour from each individual in the organisation, as well as how this behaviour should be reflected in daily business operations. This ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to ethical standards.


Establish accountability:

Make sure that everyone in the business is held accountable for their behaviour and decisions. Unethical behaviour should be addressed quickly and appropriately, with consequences for those who are found in violation of the code of conduct.


Foster an environment of ethical decision-making:

Provide employees with the knowledge and tools to make ethically sound decisions. This can include training programs, a hotline for reporting unethical behaviour and providing resources that address ethical issues.


Monitor progress:

Regularly check in on how your code of ethics is being implemented and enforced. Make sure you are addressing any non-compliance and actively encouraging ethical behaviour.


Why developing and enforcing your own code of ethics is important

What are the Seven Business Ethics?


Business ethics play a major role in modern organisations - as companies strive to do more than just make money, they are expected to uphold values that extend beyond making a profit. This involves considering how their actions affect those who are both, directly and indirectly, involved in the organisation. The seven most basic principles of business ethics ensure that organisations always act with respect for people, the environment, and their communities. These principles guide executives, managers and employees towards ethical decisions when confronting complex challenges within their business. It is essential for businesses to understand these principles and to strive towards practising them on an ongoing basis.


1. Respect for the Law

All businesses must obey the laws and regulations of their country or region as well as international laws in certain cases. This includes compliance with any applicable labour laws, taxation requirements, environmental regulations, and anti-corruption measures among others. Violating these laws can lead to serious legal ramifications for your business.


2. Honesty

Being honest with customers is crucial when doing business. It is important to be truthful and transparent in all your dealings so that customers know they can trust your company to provide them with reliable products and services. If you make a mistake, own up to it without delay and do whatever you can to make it right.

3. Integrity

Doing the right thing even when no one is watching is essential if you want to be viewed as having good business ethics. This means doing what’s required of you by law but also going beyond that whenever possible by taking responsibility for your actions and striving for excellence in all areas of your operations.


What are the Seven Business Ethics?

4. Fairness

Treating everyone fairly should be a priority for any business owner or manager. This means treating employees with respect, paying them fairly and on time, allowing them equal opportunities regardless of race, gender or other factors, and providing them with benefits such as health insurance and paid leave where possible. It also means dealing honestly with suppliers by paying invoices on time as well as treating customers fairly by offering quality products at fair prices while honouring customer service commitments whenever possible.


5. Responsibility

Taking responsibility for the impacts of your decisions on both people and the environment, especially given the increasing awareness around sustainability issues like climate change, pollution or waste management. Make sure you are mindful of how your operations might impact communities locally or globally before making any decisions that could have long-term consequences on people's lives or our planet’s health.


6. Accountability

As business owners/managers being responsible for their actions will help create trust amongst stakeholders including employees, customers and suppliers. Show that you are willing to take full ownership of mistakes made instead of blaming others. When things go wrong, try to find ways to fix the problem instead of shifting blame.


7. Transparency

Making sure all information about how decisions are made within your organisation remains open and accessible builds trust and encourages collaboration among all stakeholders. Being transparent in decision-making processes & sharing information openly builds a culture where everyone feels comfortable raising questions and expressing concerns knowing they will be heard and taken into consideration.


Being a responsible and ethical member of the business community

Being a responsible and ethical member of the business community


Being a responsible and ethical member of the business community starts with having key principles in mind: integrity, treating employees fairly and respectfully and being an upstander for positive change. These principles shape our attitude, approach and vision to ensure we bring out the best in our work no matter the obstacle. Promoting diversity, understanding labour rights and actively advocating for ethical business practices are essential for maintaining conscientious behaviour that fosters a vibrant business community.


Making these principled decisions not only has a positive impact on individuals but creates an environment where both businesses and society can mutually benefit. As responsible members of the business community, it is our duty to ensure that decision-making aligns with what is good for people as a whole rather than being confined to narrow corporate interests.


Business ethics serve as the foundation upon which successful companies are built. Without them, organisations run the risk of faltering due to their lack of trustworthiness from their stakeholders (customers/employees). The seven core values outlined above provide an excellent starting point for businesses seeking greater success through ethical behaviour, however, ultimately it is up to each company’s leadership team (or individual) to foster these values throughout their business by developing policies that encourage ethical behaviour from all involved parties - from employees all the way up through senior management - while discouraging unethical practices at every level of operation within a company’s framework. By doing so companies can create an environment where ethical decision-making is encouraged at every turn, resulting in stronger loyalty from customers & more productive work environments for staff members alike. With strong core values embedded into each facet of operations - alongside strong leadership & strategic plans - businesses can reap long-term rewards & benefits while simultaneously boosting morale & trustworthiness amongst fellow peers and colleagues alike.

 

Two Marketing are full-service marketers with an important mission: To help local brands become ethical leaders in their marketplace.


We believe that when businesses focus on ethics, they create better relationships and a stronger standing among customers and peers. With years of experience developing cutting-edge strategies, our team of marketing experts can work with you to achieve your goals quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re just starting out or have been around for decades, we guarantee we can help take your brand to the next level. Get in touch with us today to find out how!


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It's always great to exchange new ideas, and we'd love to hear from you! Join the discussion and leave a comment below. Who knows what will come of it? Your comment could spark conversations and enlighten others, so make sure to leave a comment and get talking. Whether you have had great success with ethical business decisions or you have an opinion on something you've read - sharing your thoughts can help us all discover something new about ourselves. We can't wait for your input!

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