Honesty is the best policy. I’m fairly certain either a Congressman or a businessman coined this popular adage – it’s so relevant to both fields. As an entrepreneur, you want your company to run like a well-oiled machine, and maintaining or enforcing good ethics contributes more than you’d think towards helping your company achieve its goals. 

The Oxford Dictionary defines ethics as the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. It’s the little voice that guides our actions and helps us distinguish between right and wrong. 

In business, the good guys don’t “finish last”; rather, they last the longest. Good ethics is a long-term investment, with long-term results. A company’s success rests a good deal on its reputation, on its image. A single unethical decision can severely damage a company’s standing with its current and potential customers, sometimes even leading to its eventual demise. WorldCom and Lehman Brothers are two singularly emphatic examples of the fatal impact that unethical business practices can have on organizations. 

While there isn’t a surefire way of figuring out whether your team are 100% above board with their actions and intentions, you can lead by example and ensure that your company is grounded in values and ethical principles. Going by the law of attraction, like will attract like and you’ll find yourself supported by a team of upright, scrupulous individuals. 

So what are some of the values you can look for while recruiting or training your staff?

  1. Integrity: Employees with integrity or an above average level of morality are the ones you can count on. Their personal code of conduct will keep them from participating in compromising activities. You can rest assured that they will do the right thing no matter what, whether you’re in the room or not.
  2. Honesty: There’s nothing like honest labor to keep your company afloat during hard times. Customers appreciate businesses that don’t cheat or lie to them, and foster long-lasting relationships with service providers that they trust. Open, transparent employees equate to better business in the long run. 
  3. Discipline: You’ve all heard the story of the hare and the tortoise. Talent is nothing without routine hard-work. Disciplined employees will make sure the job gets done, and gets done well. 

One way you can enforce these ethics is by disclosing them in every job description you send out. You can also create and circulate a “code of ethics” policy within your organization, either via email or on your company’s website. 

Being ethical shouldn’t be a choice; it’s a requirement. Learn more on how you can get your staff to incorporate ethics in the workplace by visiting HR Learn For Work. Talk to an expert today, so you can focus on your company’s tomorrow.