Ethics provides the overarching principles and rules which govern individual and organisational behaviour. These rules are normally documented in a values statement and reflected in policies, procedures and expected behaviours.
Why promote ethics in business?
An organisation with a strong ethical base is less likely to breach legal obligations, particularly where the law or circumstances are ill-defined, or where there is considerable variability in the circumstances that are likely to be encountered.
Questions to ask in your business
- Do you have a values statement or code of conduct, that is clear and precise which sets out the true values of your organisation (and is not simply a wish list full of ‘motherhood’ statements, or a statement of your personal values)?
- Does the code reflect and align with the mission and vision and support the organisation’s goals, ambitions and desired behaviours?
- When was the code last issued or reviewed and does it carry the signatures of the current chairman and CEO?
- Do all staff receive training on the code of induction and periodically thereafter?
- What percentage of staff believe management (at all levels) adhere to the spirit and letter of the code?
- What do employees feel is more important; meeting budget or doing the right thing?
- Do staff believe their leaders keep their promises?
- Do Board members, managers, employees at all levels and other stakeholders feel free to raise ethical questions without fear of ridicule or retribution?
- Do you have a whistleblower protection program that staff trust and feel comfortable using?
If you would like to implement an ethics governance framework, then ACY Advisory can help!