10 Examples of Business Ethics and Why they are Important for your Business

Business ethics are the moral principles that guide behavior in business situations. They show a business what is right or wrong, and help employees to make the right decisions and behave in an acceptable manner.

Employees usually face ethical situations in the workplace. For example, they might be tempted to spend a little of the company’s money on a date with their intimate partners. Others might face the dilemma of exchanging “gifts” with their boss in order to get promotion. The possibility of encountering these ethical dilemmas necessitate companies to draft ethics policies or ethical codes of conduct to show acceptable standards and behaviors.

Here is a list of some business ethics and principles that businesses should address in their policies or codes of ethics:

1) Fair and Honest Dealing with Clients

The first example of business ethics is fairness. Employees should clearly understand that they should treat all customers fairly and equally. They should provide true information about their products and services, and always avoid deceitful communications with clients. Furthermore, employees should not conceal pertinent information or misinterpret information in order to make a sale.

2) Transparency

Transparency involves communicating clearly and accurately. It entails providing accurate facts candidly to develop a rapport with clients, shareholders, and members of the public. Many companies have failed due to scandals involving fraudulent financial deals and risky investments. These companies fraudulently alter their financial figures to mislead investors about their financial position. These are unethical behaviors, and their remedy is to have a business ethics policy that encourages transparency. In a business situation, transparency involves good public relations and always disclosing the right information to stakeholders.

3) Trustworthiness

Employees should be trustworthy. That is, they should be entrusted to run affairs in the workplace without doubt. Business owners and employees also need to show commitment to their business partners, suppliers and customers and fulfil their promises to them. If you promise quality and low prices, deliver exactly that. For example, if you promise to deliver a product by 6:00 AM, do not deliver it at 7:00 AM. That is the most ethical thing to do in your business.

4) Loyalty

Always be loyal to the people who matter. Be loyal to your employer, the business, the organization, investors and consumers. Loyalty allows you to develop positive relationships with the people you transact with. This example of business ethics enhances improved business relationships with partners and customers.

5) Respect

Businesspeople also need to respect the rights, privacy, and dignity of people. Whether someone is your customer or not, you should respect their rights. Business owners also need to treat their employees with respect and give them what they rightfully deserve, regardless of their age, gender, sex, race or nationality.

6) Following the Law

If you are running a business, you should obey the law. Compliance with government laws, industry regulations, and business standards are necessary to gain public support. Consider your organization as a corporate citizen with the obligation to comply with law, including laws on taxes, health and safety, labor laws, and other legal requirements.

7) Responsibility

Perhaps responsibility is one of the most important examples of ethics in the workplace. It allows a business to perform their duties and honor their promises to employees and customers. For example, if you sign a contract to pay employees every 1st day of the month you have the responsibility to do so without failing. In every relationship, including a business relationship, everyone has their own rights and responsibilities. It matters a lot for everyone to perform their responsibilities in order to maintain the relationship and avoid conflicts.

8) Accountability

Everyone in the business world should take responsibility of their actions. Accountability is a good example of ethics which enables companies to act appropriately according to the expectations of all stakeholders. Being accountable is about accepting the consequences of what we do. For example, if a business manager negligently makes a decision that leads to product defects, he or she should come to the public, accept the mistake, and make promises for improvement. Such accountability shows that someone cares about the situation, and customers will understand and give you a second chance.

9) Integrity

Integrity refers to the ethical principle of sticking with what you believe in. A person with integrity will surrender to pressure and do something against their will. For instance, if your boss tells you to manipulate the company’s books of account or lose your job, you should be able to protect the interests of your organization, even if that means losing the job. Integrity as an example of business ethics requires you to act courageously to promote your ideals. It is a great show of honor and self-respect.

10) Professionalism

Anyone working in a business should act professionally. Professionalism is a form of business ethics which entails upholding high standards required by the terms of employment or rules of engagement with others in official matters. Professional business people and employees should dress decently and use formal language when communicating.

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