Being ethical is a significant part of running a business. This is because how ethical you are will determine how you run your business as well as how people perceive you.
Ethics, beyond a set of values, is a culture that every well-balanced company should endeavor to adapt to ensure they give as well as take from their surrounding environment. There are many ways that a company can practice being ethical and this article will be looking at five different ways.
Make Your Products Ethically
One of many ways that you can be ethical as a business is to make ethical products. It is important that your products are made ethically for several reasons which include to standardize your products as well as ensure product quality and consistency. If you’re wondering how this is done, it is essentially ensuring that in the process of producing your products, it is done in a way that doesn’t harm people or the surrounding environment. If you are in the business of sourcing products as opposed to manufacturing them, there are ways you can do so ethically. If, for example, you were running a coffee shop, you could source fair trade coffee beans for a start. You could also choose to package any coffee you sell in biodegradable packaging as a way of helping the environment. The primary objective is to ensure that the products you buy are transparent and legally compliant. Another example of ethical products is Stretch Blue Sky Scrubs as their scrubs are fair trade and ethically made. Ethical products are also becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers, so it’s a way of connecting with customers and creating a good image for your brand as well.
Accept Feedback and Act on it
Feedback is something often collected by businesses for the purposes of collecting data and seeing how well they’re performing. You may find that amongst customer complaints and reviews, there are people who address core issues with your ethics as a business. This is something that you shouldn’t ignore as doing so could be damaging to your reputation. Instead, you should take reasonable feedback into consideration and see how you can use it to better your practices as a business. Concerns should also be taken seriously from members of your organization in order to ensure your company excels ethically. This means that there should ideally be an open line of communication that enables employees to raise key concerns so that they can be discussed amongst other decision makers within the company. You should also teach leaders how to respond when someone does happen to raise a concern that may seem unethical. Additionally, they should be able to call each other out when they feel someone in the business may be operating unethically.
Stick to Your Values
Values are a core part of every business as they determine how you’re going to conduct business with other people as well as set a standard. Setting values and sticking to morals that speak well of your company is, therefore, an important aspect of ensuring your business operates ethically. If you include values relating to delivering high-quality products that are environmentally friendly or give back to the community somehow, this should put you on the right track to being more ethical. It is important that the morals that you define for your company are kept to from the top level of your organization. By doing this, the rest of your organization is more likely to mirror your behavior as you’ll be leading by example and showing them what it means to run an ethical business.
Give Back to the Community
Another way that you can make your business more ethical is by choosing to give back to the community. Many tag this as being socially responsible and there is an ongoing discourse regarding whether a business is responsible for giving back to society in the first place. Irrespective, it is becoming a necessity and consumers are demanding more from companies in terms of ethical practices, so many are looking for ways to give back. You may decide to donate money to a local charity or give supplies to your local school. Choosing to produce goods that are environmentally friendly is equally a way to give back as well. It is important to remember the communities that help make your business as successful as it is and care for others as opposed to just focusing on your bottom line.
Create an Ethical Culture
Making ethics a priority in the workplace and demanding the same from the rest of your staff is imperative. This is because when you create an ethical culture, it surpasses set rules and becomes learned behavior that people begin to abide by. You can also practice being ethical within your office by ensuring your in-house practices are fair and moral. Ensure you address any form of unethical conduct amongst employees to set a standard that the members of your organization understand they have to abide by. You should also reinforce the behavior you want and celebrate ethical practices when you see them. Additionally, it’s important that in your bid to create an ethical culture, that you’re transparent and open when it comes to all of your practices.
There are so many benefits of running an ethical or socially responsible business, and many of these benefits help you as a business, your customers, and your local communities. If you happen to be a successful business, part of your success can be attributed to the customers that support your business. So in some ways, it is only fair that you give back to these customers by ensuring your products and services are ethical, and you help maintain the environment in which you’re operating. For these reasons, you should try and make it a priority to review your organization’s ethics and see how you can continue to make them better moving forward.