The speed at which technology is evolving, companies have a moral obligation to serve society rather than exploit it. But even with the best intentions, it is impossible to have a company that purely runs on charity. Therefore, it is in the best interest of your company’s ethics, to create a perfect balance between profit and giving value to society. Being charitable does not mean your company has to suffer financially.
Some of the largest companies in the world are hugely successful and are known for their great ethics. In fact according to Ethisphere, the world’s Most Ethical Companies have historically out-performed others financially, demonstrating the connection between good ethical practices and performance that are valued in the marketplace. In addition to financial markets, other stakeholders view those on this list favorably. “Today employees, consumers, and stakeholders value companies that show both a commitment to business integrity and also have the organizational humility to never stop seeking improvement,” said Ethisphere CEO, Timothy Erblich.
But what are ethics and morality? Philosophers have argued over it for centuries. As far as business is concerned, you can run into an ethical dilemma when faced with difficult choices. According to behavioral scientists in such situations, people sub-consciously fall into a phenomenon known as “motivated blindness”. Which means you become biased and overlook wrongdoings, to suit the situation. In today’s world, a successful model for ethical leadership combines philosophical thoughts with business school pragmatism. Here are some points to help:
Define organizational values:
As a leader, there are some people around who look up to you. Every decision you make, the way you communicate and handle problems, set an example for how your employees should act. You have to be the one to champion your organization’s values and make sure everyone under you understands the meaning and importance of it. These values should also not be superficial, it must reflect what the company stands for and aspires to achieve.
It is a hard truth that you cannot make everyone happy. For a leader it is difficult to come up with a decision that leads to maximum gains with limited losses, especially if it is an ethical issue. Making big claims while not understanding the ground realities can land you in a soup.
It is natural that employees will be concerned for their jobs right now. Economic worries and slowdown are in the news and one cannot stop this concern about job losses and salary cuts. Just like in any crisis, leaders should be transparent and open with their teams. Sometimes it is better to be open about the fact that one does not have all the answers, rather than giving them false hopes or trying to beat around the bush, which will quickly lead to a loss of trust. Giving them a timeline by when some information might be available can be a useful way of calming the nerves of employees.
Source :- https://hbr.org/2020/09/a-new-model-for-ethical-leadership