By Catherine Campbell
Whether you’re just starting your business or you’ve been up and running for a while, business ethics in your operations are important to consider. The Edward Lowe Foundation’s article ‘Why You Need Good Business Ethics’ is a good primer on what business ethics are and how they figure into your HR, financial, and other departmental dealings. There may be considerable overlap with your ethics and your business values and that’s a good thing. Here are some questions they suggest in thinking through ethical practices:
- Is it legal? Would I be violating federal, state or municipal law?
- Is it in accordance with company policy?
- Is it fair? Would anyone lose out?
- Would I be proud of my action?
How would our customers react? Would they be more inclined to trust us, or feel cheated or betrayed?
When you’re ready for more information on how to lead an ethical business or just incorporate business ethics into your projects, Chron.com has a great collection of short articles about all things ‘business ethics’ – from leadership to challenges to the promotion of ethics within your workforce. It’s worthwhile to at least skim through these titles to see what interests you.
Maybe you are more focused on how you show up for your employees or ensuring that your employees understand expectations as well. Chron has some interesting short posts on reliability and decision making that can spur some deeper thinking in defining how you want your organization to operate. For some more-in-depth help in both leadership and decision making, the Balance magazine has a good article that discusses and lists skills that are valuable in the workplace. It may be a helpful exercise to have your employees identify their greatest strengths using these lists so that you can create dependable and effective operational processes based on your employees’ best skillsets.
When you’re ready to take it to the next level and ensure that your values and ethics are incorporated into your production and services, it can be as easy as adding an ethics module to your project management system. If you don’t have a PM system, ProjectSmart based in the UK has a good overview of project management and how it can help your business. According to their site, ProjectSmart aims to provide free, high-quality, ethical content and offers independent and easy access to information about project management. (A great example of how an organization incorporates ethics into their business model).
You’ll probably find that incorporating ethics into your business and project management is something you already do and is a natural part of your operations.