10 Best Ethical Principles for Your Business

Why Do you Need Ethical Principles for your Business?

Business ethics is essential to any business that desires success in a crowded marketplace. Whether you are an employee, a manager or an entrepreneur running your own business, you need to build a good reputation by behaving ethically.

Ethical behavior in business is often guided by several ethical principles.

There are several companies, especially financial institutions and companies in tech and oil industries, which have either collapsed or lost traction as a result of unethical behaviors. Think of Equifax which was involved in data breach scandal or Enron which experienced unethical accounting scandal in 2001.

These companies either lacked ethical principles or did not implement their ethical principles effectively. For ethical principles to be meaningful and effective, it is necessary for everyone in the organization from bottom to top of the organizational hierarchy to take responsibility.

Business ethics gains its usefulness if people in the organization carry themselves with integrity. People with integrity are guided by core ethical principles which influence their decisions and behaviors.

Ethical Principles for Business Organizations

1) Honesty: being truthful and sincere in every dealing or communication with stakeholders, e.g. transparency in financial reporting and not deceiving or misleading others, or misrepresenting information.

2) Integrity: this ethical principle is essential for personal, professional and business success. It entails maintaining one’s convictions and defending one’s beliefs courageously. Integrity also refers to being principled, honorable, and upright in all dealings.

3) Trust-worthiness: business managers and employees should be trustworthy and trusting as well. Success in business negotiations and practices largely depends on relationships that are well founded on trust and respect.

4) Loyalty: being loyal to the company, to your bosses, shareholders, and the customers is essential for strong business relationships.

5) Fairness: business managers and employees also need to be fair and just in their dealings. This is necessary to gain trust and build strong coalitions. Fairness requires businesses to treat everyone equally and promote diversity in the workplace.

6) Concern for others: caring about the needs of others is essential in winning their support. For example, business managers should show concern for employees in order to improve their commitment. If employees feel that the company cares about them, they will contribute more to the success of the business.

7) Respect: this is another important ethical principle which requires business managers and employees to treat others with dignity. Employers need to give employees the autonomy to do their work without pressure. Managers should also respect the privacies and rights of employees.

8) Law abiding: ethical businesses should develop rules that are in line with the required laws and regulations. All business activities should be done within the law.

9) Commitment and Responsibility: businesses should promote responsibility and commitment to a mission that corresponds with the needs of society.

10) Citizenship: An ethical business should behave as a corporate citizen by contributing towards the sustainability of the society and the environment. This could be done through charitable donations and environmental protection.

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