July 24, 2024

Advancing Corporate Yields

Pioneering Business Success

6 Benefits From Focusing On Ethical Business Decisions

As a business consultant, I too often encounter pressures to support business processes or decisions that seem to skirt the boundaries of ethics, all in the name of improving the business or solving a competitive incursion. I’m a firm believer that the benefits of ethical decision-making always outweigh alternatives in critical thinking and business leadership, for long-term success.

I was pleased to see the key benefits of good business ethics detailed in a recent book on how to become a critical thinker, “On Becoming a Critical Thinker: Awakening Your Business Superpower,” by John Chetro Szivos. John is a renowned academic and executive who now does leadership consulting work with large domestic organizations and non-profits around the world.

I will outline here his top six proven benefits, with my insights added, of keeping your focus on ethical business solutions, despite pressures to the contrary. He defines them as principles that are inseparable from critical thinking in any business situation:

1. Key to building a strong reputation and trust. Stakeholders will strongly support your consistently ethical decisions and choices, and respond with renewed commitment based on your integrity, fairness, and social responsibility. This will enhance the reputation of both you and your business, resulting in expedited growth and greater business returns.

2. Keep within legal and regulatory frameworks. By factoring in ethical implications, you and your company can avoid potentially engaging in illegal activities that may result in legal issues, fines, and reputation damage. Adhering to ethical standards will help you navigate today’s complex global landscape and meet the expectations of society.

3. Create a more supportive work environment. When team members witness consistent fair treatment, ethical behavior, and a commitment to doing the right thing, they are more likely to feel engaged, valued, and motivated. This will increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention, as they appreciate the alignment with their own values.

4. Generate customer loyalty and satisfaction. Consumers are increasingly conscious of ethical considerations and are more likely to support your business as it demonstrates ethical behavior. It is to your advantage to prioritize ethical values, such as transparency, honesty, and social responsibility, as these will build stronger customer relationships.

5. Mitigate business risk and potential harm. Prioritizing ethical implications helps you to identify and address potential conflicts of interest, environmental impacts, safety concerns, and other business risks. This allows you to implement timely risk mitigation techniques, including internal controls, diversification, insurance, and contingency plans.

6. Increase long-term sustainability and success. By considering the broader social and environmental impacts of your decisions, such as fair labor practices and responsible sourcing, you will contribute to a more sustainable future. You will also build resilience, adapt more quickly to changing market demands, and maintain your competitive edge.

He and I both suggest that these principles be integrated into an ethics framework encompassing a collection of your personal values, guidelines, and ethical principles that you communicate and demonstrate to your team. This will provide a systematic approach for everyone in your business in analyzing complex business and moral issues, and making decisions as you move forward.

Of course, we both recommend that you monitor the progress of the business with a set of metrics to make sure your efforts at critical thinking and focus on ethics has increased your employee retention, customer loyalty, and brand image. Don’t forget to periodically assess your own satisfaction and motivation in your commitment to make the world and your business a better place. Have fun.

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