It used to be that business and ethics didn’t seem to mix, or many thought that the occasional charity event and a corporate social responsibility statement on your website ticked all the boxes. But that’s no longer true, over the last few years, and accelerated by COVID, both consumers and employees have made it clear that they want to work for these types of businesses or buy from them.
Ethics are now an important factor for people when they are thinking of buying from or doing business with a company.
If you are wanting to set up your business in an ethical way or move an existing business in that direction then you might want to consider.
Do Business With Other Ethical Companies
It doesn’t matter what you’re ethical and sustainability policies are, if you’re doing business with other companies that aren’t, then this will come to light eventually. Review your suppliers and external agencies and make sure that you vet them accordingly before. For example, many companies decided to move away from Facebook after the scandals that hit the social media company over the last few years. Those with communities starting to move away to platforms such as Disciple or similar.
Build An Ethical Company Culture
A truly ethical company has a company culture that reflects the ethos of the business. Eventually, you’ll have a workforce that lives, breathes and believes in what you’re doing. Strong company cultures perform better, have higher levels of employee engagement and lower turnover.
Hold employees, and leadership to high standards and have a transparent style of doing things.
Don’t Focus On External Optics
A lot of companies spend so much time and effort telling the world how ethical and sustainable they are, they forget to actually do the work. This International Women’s Day, many companies were very active on social media supporting the cause and what they were doing but someone had actually created a bot that identified that and then automatically Tweeted the company’s gender pay gap statistics. A lot of names, large and small were embarrassed.
So rather than spending a lot of time and money on PR, make sure you’re actually practising what you’re preaching. Then, you can truly use it to promote your company.
Constantly Seek And Use Feedback
As society and the world change, businesses need to do this too. Something you may never have thought about might suddenly become a social issue or you may be asked about your position on a particular situation. In this case, it’s always a good idea to seek feedback from your employees, customers and other stakeholders.
Give your employees a clear line of dialogue between themselves and the leadership of the company.
Many companies promote their ethical credentials, but many are guilty of not practising what they preach which will eventually come back to damage them. If you truly what build an ethical company, you need to do this from the ground up, with the support and example of leadership.