“In the end you should always do the right thing even if it's hard.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song
As an individual or business owner, ethics should play a key role in what we do. Although there are variations based on culture and location of what should be considered ethical behaviour; the general consensus hinge the concept of ethics on three important principles: Honesty, Integrity and Fairness.
Year after year we hear stories of once successful people or businesses failing and losing their credibility in the public eye. One major reason behind most of these unexpected failures is the lack of ethics.
The old practice of putting profits before the customer has been known to be hugely unproductive and this has caused more companies to increasingly adopt ethical practices and principles.
There are many benefits of running an ethical business. First it gives you a distinct edge over the competition. It creates brand loyalty and prevents legal problems. Additionally an ethical business has a strong public image and market perception. Your employees are also not left out: people are more likely to enjoy their jobs and stay longer in an environment where strong moral values are imbibed.
The following steps can help you begin inculcating ethics into your business:
· Identify and formulate broad ethical policies for your business
· Train your employees and enforce the identified policies
· Charge customers fair prices for your products and services
· Treat employees with dignity and respect
· Be sincere about the information you give customers regarding your products and services including risks associated with purchase
· When you commit to doing something, do it as at when promised.
One thing to keep in mind is that ethics come at a cost- the cost of doing the right thing. However, you can be sure of this; your customers will love you, your staff will be more loyal, and you will sleep better at night!
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