One could argue that all ethics are important, but that may not be true. It’s important to understand that ethics aren’t the same as laws. What is ethical to you may be unethical to someone else. But, overall the following is what customers, peers, and staff care most about in terms of business ethics.
Honesty and Integrity
Sometimes it can be hard for business owners to be honest with their staff, peers, and customers all at the same time. They don’t always mean to fudge the truth, but it happens. However, not being 100 percent honest with everyone can cause a lack of trust.
When you are honest, not only are you demonstrating trust to others but you’re also building trust between all parties. Integrity is the willingness to be honest regardless of the consequences to yourself. It’s important to have convictions and stick to them. People should know that if you tell them something, it’s fact.
Loyalty and Fairness
People who are loyal don’t run at the first signs of problems. Instead, they stand by the people who they care about, including their customer, peers, and staff. Having said that, even when someone is both loyal and fair they expect professionals to disagree sometimes. So, this isn’t about being a “yes” person; it’s about practicing true loyalty to those who share your ethics and who make you who you are.
Concern and Respect for Others
When a business owner shows concern and respect for the people who work with and for them, as well as their customers, it shows. They don’t make decisions based only on what’s good for them, but based on what’s best for everyone – even if it means that they get the short end of the stick sometimes.
An ethical business leader will stick to the rules, laws, and regulations that guide their industry, even if they don’t agree with them. They may speak out against some unfair practices, but they don’t break the rules just because they don’t like them.
Demonstrate Good Leadership Practices
A true leader doesn’t lead by the position of power; they lead by example. They demonstrate the features that they admire in a leader and show others how to be that way too. They build people up and encourage them; they do not tear people down. They also let others shine when it’s appropriate.
Accountability and Commitment to Excellence
An ethical leader accepts personal responsibility for their actions and have a commitment to doing things right within the bounds of rules, regulations, and laws. They like to do the best they can in their career and expect others (and give others room) to do it as well.
Additionally, it’s important for a business to care about whether the world sees them as trustworthy. The best way to do this is to maintain the utmost transparency about the things that happen within the business, so that they can build the reputation of the business and develop more trust with their customers, staff, and peers.