7 Examples of Business Ethics and Integrity
Integrity is defined as the strict adherence to a moral code, reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does. The success of your business often lies heavily on the shoulders of the public, customers, and even employees. To win over these three groups, you usually want to be sure to display a high level of ethics and integrity. To easily sum it up, simply doing the right thing is often more than enough to gain public trust. Here are 7 Examples of Business Ethics and Integrity.
Build and Maintain Trust
Trust is defined as the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust is usually built on character. The saying is “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.” When running a business, you want to be sure that your company is personalized. People are not looking to do business with logos and brands, they’re interested in doing business with people. Even larger known companies and brands have to be careful with how they present themselves, as they too are often judged by the individuals employed.
Honest To a Fault
Honesty is the best policy. Being honest to a fault can often put your business ahead of it’s competitors. Honesty extends further than what was said, as leaving pertinent business information out can also be dishonest. This is even true in the judicial system. If you know that you’re unable to deliver a specific service to your client, don’t dance around the issue. Be honest with them and provide full disclosure as to why you are unable to grant the requested service, followed by what services you can guarantee. Sure, you take the chance of not closing that particular sale, but I can almost guarantee that you just made a friend in the industry, who may even consider you for future business.
Integrity in Management Practices
Organization integrity usually begins on management levels. Their practices usually dictate how the members of the company will act. After all, you lead by example. If you commit yourself to excellent customer service, then see to it that customer’s issues are resolved in a timely manner. If research or an investigation has to be done, give your customer a clear timeframe that they should expect results. Your reputation can be completely ruined by not sticking to your promise of delivering excellent customer service.
Always treat other with the utmost respect. Professional courtesy goes a long way in life and definitely in business. Differences such as position, titles, salaries, sex, age, or race should not factor when talking about respect. Respect usually begets respect, leaving everyone walking away happy.
If you are marketing a product or service, you are obligated to fully deliver what was promised in your ad. If you advertise that you have a three piece living room set for sale for $400, but when the customer arrives the advertised item is not stocked and you try to push a $1000 sectional on them, you run a very high risk of not closing this sale and never getting this individuals business again. Chances are they will also tell others to not shop with you as well. The same holds true if you are offering a service of any kind. Be completely transparent in what the services are, and what is included. This eliminates any surprises in the end.
It is important for business leaders to live a lifestyle of honesty, integrity and high ethical standards. Very often, what you display in your personal life has the ability to transfer over into your business life. Therefore, if honesty and respect are made into habits, then that too will reflect in your next business meeting. Shady business deals can often generate negative press for your company, and untimately affect the company’s value and profitability.
Product integrity is important to those of us who purchase products and services. This is when public perception and brand recognition come into play. Be willing to stand behind your product. If there is a limited warranty, be sure to fully go over the details of the warranty and explain what will be covered. It is also good practice to advise the consumer of what would be required from them on their end, should they not be happy with a product or service rendered.
Remember, your business is your baby. It prospers if you make it. Don’t be afraid to raise the bar. Go slightly above and beyond the call of duty, but stay within reason. Give people a reason to want to come back. More so, give them a reason to remember you. “Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” – W. Clement Stone