The popular perception of the business community is that it’s a “dog-eat-dog” world in which only the ruthless survive. When you manage a company, you need to leave your ethics at the door and do whatever is pragmatic. Virtue and enterprise don’t mix.
But is that true? The data seem to suggest otherwise.
Companies that misbehave almost always lose in the long-run: just look at what happened to VW after the emissions scandal. Not only did the company have to pay out billions in fines, but it also lost vast swathes of customers too. People didn’t want to buy cars from a company which lied about diesel emissions to make extra buck or two.
Good ethics are good business. Firms that apply high ethical standards avoid fines and create healthy workplace cultures. When people know the rules, then it empowers them to perform their work to a high standard, without feeling as if they have to make compromises.
The problem is that the leadership in many firms doesn’t communicate the importance of ethics. Managers are told to be productive and to “get the job done,” but not that they should do it in a way that is consistent with the moral standards of the firm. All too often, managers believe that they need to flaunt the rules to get the job done quicker. It creates problems.
The following infographic makes the case that sound ethics are, in fact, good business. Do you think your business would benefit from an ethical upgrade?
Infographic by Norwich University