Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of the education technology company DreamBox, speaks about approaching diversity and inclusion as one might approach software development: through the use of an agile methodology. Obviously, ethics is important for a wide variety of reasons. If you're a salesperson, you can ask yourself, for example, “What do I owe to the individual person I'm trying to sell to?”  There are all kinds of predictable dilemmas: When I know something that the customer doesn’t, when do I owe that information to the customer? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “Companies that work to build and maintain ethical workplace cultures are more financially successful and have more motivated, productive employees.” For this reason, it’s in your company’s best interest to implement some key ethical practices. In doing so, I am not so limited nor naïve to suggest that the only measure is corporate profitability. What in your behavior might limits their opportunities because you create a bad reputation or get engaged in a set of bad relationships with customers? These programs build trust with external stakeholders and promote internal loyalty and pride among its leaders and employees. By taking measures to promote ethics in your workplace, you can create a better culture, improve your brand reputation and simply feel good that you’re doing something positive. If the company is serious about building trust with internal and external stakeholders, company actors (board members, top management, supervisors and employees) have to be held accountable for use of social media (within the confines of labor laws). The field of business ethics, in its current form, grew out ofresearch that moral and political philosophers did in the 1970s and1980s. Safe and Secure Workplace: Companies have to maintain a safe and secure workplace. Employees’ concerns have to be identified and addressed. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics explores ethical issues in corporate governance, global business, leadership, executive compensation, and other areas of business ethics. Just as it’s important to stomp out unethical practices, it’s equally important to praise your employees for following best practices. After all, if managers demonstrate questionable ethical behavior, why should anyone else be expected to act with moral conviction? This can include a number of different situations, including how a … Fundamentally, finance is a social science discipline. While the specific approach to business ethics will vary from company to company, there are five common ethical practices that should keep your business on the straight and narrow. Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, discusses human rights concerns, representation of diverse stakeholders, and metrics for a business' environment, sustainability, and governance practices. Tags: anti-discriminationanti-harrasmentbullyingbusiness ethicalscorporate social responsibilityethical culturepractical stepspractical steps for ethical culturesocial media and employees, Episode 170 — The Beam Suntory FCPA Settlement, Webinar: Antitrust Enforcement and Compliance Trends. Unethical practices also greatly increase your odds of incurring penalties and open the door for litigation. Again, if the company is committed to its principles, a safe and secure workplace must be protected. If ethics was not present, it would be a very cold and cruel world. Companies committed to encouraging and responding promptly to employee concerns will build robust reporting systems, communicate the importance of a speak up culture, and respond swiftly to employee concerns by investigating any issues raised and remediating any specific concerns that are substantiated. The 2008 financial crisiscaused critics to challenge the ethics of th… Vari Hall, Santa Clara University500 El Camino RealSanta Clara, CA 95053408-554-5319, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, The Ethics of Going Back to School in a Pandemic, Systemic Racism, Police Brutality, and the Killing of George Floyd, COVID-19: Ethics, Health and Moving Forward, The Ethical Implications of Mass Shootings, Political Speech in the Age of Social Media, Point/Counterpoint: Democratic Legitimacy, Brett Kavanaugh and the Ethics of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process, School Leaders Need Our Help Providing Equitable Education, Create an Ethical Decision Making Framework for Your Organization, Benison: The Practice of Ethical Leadership, Teaching Note: Interview of Theranos Whistleblower, Tyler Shultz. When does your behavior begin to negatively affect them? That certainly goes for our businesses. Most importantly, the company can set an example of treating others with respect and avoiding online controversies. But let’s make this a practical discussion. At the individual level, we actually can predict what kind of ethical issues we will face in our business careers; a set of unavoidable ethical dilemmas comes with the territory. It is not hard to see why moral and political philosophersmight be interested in business. Be Diligent About Enforcing Policies. Once we’ve identified those unavoidable ethical dilemmas, we can prepare for them and deal with them much more effectively. Without a shared sense of what good behavior means, there would be no ability to cooperate, no ability to trust others to act in our interest and not against us. Not everyone is going to uphold every single ethical expectation 100 percent of the time, and rules will inevitably be broken. To your fellow salespeople? A diverse workplace has to be a stated objective, should be measured, and promoted as a way to build trust internally and externally with our employees, communities and government stakeholders. Whether it’s raising money for local causes, establishing volunteer programs for employees or donating to worthy charities, this can be huge. Commercial Interactions: A company conducts numerous business transactions each day, with consumers, vendors, suppliers, agents, distributors and others. Similarly, business ethics can be thought about at those same levels. Instead of addressing this issue, I could list ten ethical principles and call it a day – honesty, loyalty, fairness, integrity, trust, accountability, listening to other, excellence, caring/empathy, and respect. This should eliminate any confusion and ambiguity about your company’s ethical practices and keep everyone on the same page. Does this action I propose reflect the company’s values?”. Diversity and inclusion problems in Silicon Valley organizations are solvable if the issues are considered as ethical dilemmas. The materials are primarily for members of an organization’s leadership team, including human resources and legal, but designed to engage a cross-section of leaders from various disciplines. Investopedia defines business ethics as, “The study of proper business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial issues, such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate responsibility and fiduciary responsibilities.” Upholding certain values and moral principles is important to the success and longevity of your business because poor ethics can hurt your culture, lower your retention rate and sour relationships. Following ethical practices is important for many reasons and a major selling point to many of today’s consumers.