Business ethics can be a tricky subject. Although ethics are somewhat unique to each individual, they generally include being honest, presenting and describing products and services in an accurate manner and handling money conscientiously. Ethics are said to apply intrinsically, even when there is little chance of alternate behavior being discovered. Good business ethics aren't just good for the soul and the conscience. Good ethics can also be very good for the bottom line.
Five good reasons to adhere to good business ethics
1. Good ethics promote teamwork. When your employees understand that you are going to be honest with them and that you expect honesty in return, they are more likely to share their ideas without fear of your stealing them or being ridiculed. Good teamwork and honesty in the workplace also leads to employee retention and the cost savings that comes with not having to constantly be training new employees.
2. Good ethics enhance your reputation in the community. Good business ethics, over time, will create a good reputation for your business within the community and help to bring referrals from satisfied past customers. Of course, the opposite is also true. Keeping bad news about your company can also enhance the opinion of your company in the community.
3. Good ethics help prevent legal issues and lawsuits. By adhering to a strong code of business ethics, you and your business are much less likely to find yourself party to a lawsuit, saving you in court costs and legal fees.
4. Good ethics is good for publicity. Acting in a forthright and ethical manner shouldn't be newsworthy, but it often is. A company with a reputation for helping the community might just find itself featured in the local newspaper.
5. Good ethics can attract investors. People and companies want to invest their money in companies that they know will act honestly and with full disclosure. Too many unethical companies have been in the news in recent years. Savvy investors take the time to research how a company they are considering putting money into deals with its employees, customers and the community where it does business.
While everyone has a slightly different code of ethics, adhering to a general code of good conduct can help your business keep its employees happy and secure, enhance your business reputation within the community, save you money on legal fees and court costs and even attract new investment dollars to your business.