A Guide to Ethical Principles in Business | Rutgers Online

A Guide to Ethical Principles in Business

Consumer trust is harder to come by now than ever as people take the initiative to research every company they do business with. Any blemish against a company's record hurts them unless they have built a high level of trust and respect within the community, which is why it's important that businesses hold themselves to high ethical standards. There are six core values of business ethics, and keeping all of these principles in mind within the workplace as well as in interactions with the public can bring great benefits to your business in the long run..

Trustworthiness

To earn respect for yourself and your company, you need to make smart choices in all aspects of business, and your workforce is an excellent place to start. Getting the team working together and caring about what they're doing builds confidence within the company, which can produce better results for the customers. Managers should build a rapport with the employees and make them feel more valued by being more open and trusting of them. This gives them confidence, so they feel more pride in their work.

Respect

Employees need respect to be motivated to work at their highest potential. Anyone who feels that their friends or family members don't appreciate them might feel less inclined to put forth their best efforts, and it's no different in the workplace. If you want production to go up and stay consistently up, then it's imperative to encourage an environment where staff feel respected and valued.
  • Employees and Respect: In an informal study, quite a few employees reported that they felt respected at work by their employer. Those who were respected had greater satisfaction with their jobs.
  • Teaching Employees How to Respect Others: Fostering a culture of respect in the workplace between coworkers and managers helps boost mood and makes the work environment a happier place.
  • Respect for Human Rights: Corporations also have the responsibility to respect fundamental human rights. In 2008, guiding principles were developed to implement a global standard for businesses concerning human rights.

Responsibility

Another ethical principle is social responsibility. Companies have an obligation not only to their employees but also to the surrounding society. They must keep in mind that they can make a profit and run smoothly because of their staff and others in the community. Sharing portions of the profits with their workers or donating to local charities and organizations are a few ways to honor their social responsibilities

Fairness

In ethical business practice, fairness and justice mean the same thing. Employers nurturing trust and respect among their workers should be sure to also treat them fairly according to their skill level and effort put into the job. They should also not be subject to discrimination. Employees who feel that they haven't been treated fairly can harbor bitterness or resentment that causes them to leave the company or spread bad word of mouth that damages the company's reputation.
  • Employee Perceptions of Organizational Justice: Research has been conducted on employees' views of fairness that shows how these perceptions could affect their behaviors and attitudes.
  • Workplace Bill of Rights: Every organization has an obligation to their workers to make sure all of the employees' rights are not infringed upon.
  • Discrimination Law: The law prohibits discrimination in employment, and all staff or prospective staff need to know their rights in the job market.

Caring

All types of relationships benefit from empathy, and the workplace should be no different. Employees are essential to their companies, and caring for them whenever possible builds positive rapport. Their overall well-being makes them thrive and boosts their morale, which helps production.
  • Health and Wellness Programs: Studies have shown that an employee's health status affects the way they work, and some companies try to take care of their employees' health by offering wellness benefits. Some of these programs provide mental health benefits, while others may offer free or reduced-price routine medical tests.
  • Thriving in the Workplace: Fostering a caring environment for a company's employees helps boost morale in the workplace.

Citizenship

Corporate citizenship is much like being a citizen of a city. We have certain laws and obligations to uphold that allow us to function as a society. Corporations also have rules they should follow and duties to perform in their business practices. Employers run the risk of tarnishing their reputation and losing trust from society when they go against those guidelines.
  • Corporate Citizenship: When a corporation follows the rules, it makes a positive impact. Businesses should be aware of the benefits that good citizenship brings.
  • Moral Compass of Companies: When corruption takes hold of a company, its reputation falls flat. Becoming conscious of the ways it can seep into and ruin an organization is an important step to take.