Business Ethics

Written by Linda Alexander
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Managing business ethics in the workplace is a difficult job, but one that must be done. If it is your responsibility to ensure your business operates ethically, you are accountable for anything done unethically. Here are some tips for managing business ethics.

The Process of Managing Business Ethics

First, realize that managing ethics is a process. It will produce tangible results in time, such as codes, meeting reports, and newsletters. But the more important piece of the ethics puzzle are the discussions and dialog that takes place before the results are delivered. The way to measure success of an ethics program is if it accomplishes the desired behavior within your organization. If people don't follow codes of conduct or buy into your values, your ethics program will be unsuccessful.

Integrating business ethics into other management practices is also wise. For example, when establishing a mission statement or during other strategic planning activities, incorporate ethics into it. Think about what values you would like to be most important in your company's culture, then write your policies in accordance with them.

Finally, realize that mistakes will happen, and foster a forgiving atmosphere. Especially when you implement new policies, there will be questions about what is acceptable. Leave the dialog open so people can adjust to changes as necessary. Trying to operate ethically and hitting a few bumps along the road is better than not having a policy at all.

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