Workplace ethics directly contributes to a business’ success. Making the right business decisions, happier and motivated employees, and a boost in morale will positively impact a company’s success. Starting from childhood, we are taught to “do the right thing,” or we face the consequences. As an adult in the workplace, some consequences can hurt the business, such as losing customer loyalty or harm the individual, such as suspension from work.
That’s why building an ethical workplace directly affects the bottom line of your business. Here are the three ways it does that.
An ethical culture opens up new opportunities and attracts top talent
An ethical culture opens up new opportunities and attracts top talent. Businesses are continuously seeking top talent and work hard to retain them. Hiring managers focus heavily on soft skills and previous work experience. HR leaders look for culture fit, how aligned they are with your core values, and how they handle stressful situations. But you might find someone who has checked all the boxes, but you don’t check theirs.
Potential new hires conduct their research as well by speaking to previous employees and searching for news on the company. If they find a flaw in your organization or are dissatisfied with the office environment, you’ve lost the opportunity to hire top talent. An ethical workplace attracts and retains top talent, resulting in lower turnover rates, higher productivity, and successfully meeting business goals.
The same goes for ethical investing and partnerships. If you’re a small or mid-size company looking to grow and expand, your positive brand image and ethical decision making will attract new opportunities and potential partnerships.
Ethical practices boost employee morale and productivity
Unethical practices in the workplace lead to widespread disruption and dissatisfaction in the work that employees are doing. Ultimately, unsatisfied employees are prone to seek other opportunities, which will lead to higher turnover rates. In 6 Simple Ways to Create an Ethical Workplace, we discuss how executive influence plays a crucial role to boost employee morale and improve company culture.
Business ethics must be supported by executives who lead by example and genuinely care about the employee’s well-being in the workplace. Employees who feel like their managers care about the company’s core values (and lives by it) and the work they are doing, are more likely to stay motivated and continue the work they’re doing to make themselves and the company successful.
A focus on ethics builds a positive brand image
“Emtrain hits the top 50 companies to work for in the Bay Area”
That’s not a real headline (yet). But like many companies, it’s something we are striving for.
A positive brand image is built from within the company—the people, the culture, and the decision making. This all ties back to the new opportunities and top talent your company attracts. Businesses rank higher in their industry if they’ve gained a reputation for ethical decision making. Target, for example, was named “One of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies'” in 2010 for demonstrating ethical practices with integrity and sound judgment to every business decision. Since then, more brands have partnered with them, they’ve expanded to more store locations, and increased their sales.
With a positive brand image, you’re more likely to avoid negative publicity. For smaller companies that work tirelessly toward becoming a major player in their industry and beat the competition, it’s easy to fall into a realm of unethical situations. Sure, there are ways to recover from a public scandal and prove you’re a good company with good morals. However, it would take longer to bounce back from that impact than it would to build a great culture to avoid that scandal in the first place.
How does negative work ethics affect the workplace?
A negative work ethic begins to affect the attitudes of other employees. It can make working together extremely difficult which can lead to a decrease in productivity, de-motivation and eventually to higher turnover rates.
The bottom line: an ethical workplace negatively or positively impacts the ultimate success of your business. Build your company culture to attract top talent, new opportunities for business, while keeping a positive brand image in mind. For more thoughts on how to build a more ethical workplace, check out our previous blog post 6 Simple Ways to Create an Ethical Workplace.