Ethics are an important element of running a business. Applying correct, consistent ethics to a business’s decision making and behaviour is something that businesses must be very aware of. But what is it that a business can do that means that they are being ethical? Read these tips to help find this out.
It is far simpler to retain an ongoing customer than to find a new one. This means that it would be in your best interest as a business owner, to give your customers the honesty that they deserve. If there is a problem with your product or service, that you are hoping to be fixed shortly, tell your customers that they may have to wait until the period that you believe it will be fixed by. Too many companies out there are consistently not being honest with their customers, in order to avoid the negative feedback in the short term. However, this will just create angry customers.
Mistakes can and do happen. But how a company makes up for their mistakes is how the public views them afterward. One of the worst things that companies can do, is to ignore the mistake that they have made, and not attempt to fix it. Even worse than this is to cover up the mistake, to make it appear that it either never happened, or was someone else’s fault. This can blow back in their faces worse than the situation that they were first originally in. Just apologise, figure out how to fix the problem, and then move on. If people decide that the mistake was made up for, then they will move on too.
An important element of ethics in business is making sure that you are doing your part to help to protect the environment, as well as avoiding the practices that damage the environment. There are many ways that companies have been able to reduce the damage that they are causing to the environment. For instance, now that supermarkets are charging five pence for a shopping bag, this encourages customers to bring their own bags to reduce the number of wasted plastic. Another example is here at NetPay. We were the first payment processor in the UK to offer ‘green payments’ by mitigating the carbon emissions of our payments network and our internal IT, by planting 1250m2 of woodland working with the Woodland Trust.
This aspect revolves more around the internal environment of an organisation. In some work environments, the staff have created an ‘every person for themselves’ type attitude. This kind of work scenario can have a heavily negative impact on the business as a whole. This is because staff are not working together to help each other grow, but attempting to look good when others are failing. By rewarding positive behaviour, you will see far less of this. By having a scoreboard in the office to collect reward points for employees who have gone the extra mile to help someone else’s work, this encourages positive behaviour in employees. By giving the person with the most points a reward at the end of the month (such as a meal out with friends) then this additionally gives employees motivation to support one another even more.
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