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Small Business Ethics

The single biggest challenge of a company is not its competition, but its own reputation which the company has to defend from zenith to nadir. Business ethics form an indispensable part of all companies. Business owners take every step to ensure that their code of ethics is duly followed.

An ethical business creates goodwill among the customers. Any compromise on the ethical aspect of the business is a severe blow to its reputation.

While a code of ethics does not assure the complete avoidance of malpractices, it does put forward a serious message to the employees that they should take it seriously. Business ethics takes the first rank in the uplifting of a company, pushing profitability to the second rank.

Here are a few steps that can be implemented to incorporate the ethical aspects in your business -

  1. Model Ethical Behavior - Your employees tend to follow you in most of the cases. Hence, the first step towards implementing business ethics is to practice before preaching. Since you are the person everyone looks up to, they shall imbibe those qualities onto themselves.
  2. Ethics Advisory Board - Create an ethics advisory board. This board may comprise of insiders and outsiders. The board's task is to research the prevailing business codes and hatch out the ones that gel into your line of business. Input for these codes of ethics should be given by people at all levels of the company.
  3. Written Format - After the board has done its job, the code of ethics should be put in writing and distributed to all employees. While distributing, inform the employees about the consequences of violations.
  4. Staff Meetings - Periodical discussions of the ethics in staff meetings is effective. Encourage ethics-based topics among employees. This will improve their dedication towards the code of ethics.
  5. Annual Audits & Reviews - The code of ethics is bound to be modified with the changes in technology and other aspects. Therefore, annual or semi-annual reviews of the ethical codes should be done. If needed, the codes can be revised to keep in par with the proceedings of the business.
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