If you run a business then you need the right tools and resources to keep it running well. A huge part of a great business is making sure that you are doing things in an ethical way. Not only can you run into legal trouble, but your customers might jump ship if they find out that you are not on the up-and-up. Here are a few ways you can make sure your business stays on track.
Have a Review Period
There is nothing like accountability to make your workers stand up and listen to what you are saying. If they know there will be regular reviews and evaluations, they are much more likely to pay attention to what they’re doing and what kind of quality they produce. Make it clear that you will review and evaluate them as workers as well as the quality of their work often.
In order to make reviews more effective, do not always announce them. Instead, have a nice mixture. Have established review periods for their performance. This is the time to give meaningful feedback on how they can improve and grow into hardworking employees. Additionally, have random check-ins with your workers. This will give you a better idea of how they act when they let their guard down. These regular and random review period will allow you to stay in touch with your employees. Mischief and unethical work practices are harder to carry out if you know the boss is and could be watching at any time.
Audit Your Business
Your business is important to you—so act like it. Invest your resources in regular auditing. In order to keep an eye on your operations, you need another set of eyes on your business to truly help you out. You should have an external auditing service take a look at your business to ensure that it is performing at the standards you have set and believe in. That way, you can make the changes you need to now instead of when someone of authority brings problems to your attention.
A professional third party, like an executive search firm or financial auditing firm, will be able to give you an impartial look into how your business is really operating. Because you put in so much time and effort into your company, it’s easier for you to miss problems in how your employees might run things. These are people you work with and care about so your opinions are going to be biased. Regular audits as well as audits when you might suspect something amiss will help your business stay on the right path.
Establish Clear Priorities and Goals
When workers don’t have a clear set of goals and guidelines, they will decide for themselves what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it. This can often lead to behavior that is not acceptable or goes against what you want your business to stand for. Letting this creep into your business will lead to trouble.
Define your goals and values in clear language from the start. Creating a company mission statement, standards, and core values and letting your employees know about them will help communicate how important you think they are. This is something you can refer to time and time again, just like a rule book. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your standards. If an employee refuses to work according to your guidelines, termination should be considered. If you let your employees know that working outside of your company’s values and policies will not be tolerated, ethical practices will be the standard for the work environment. Furthermore, praise good behavior. When you support those that support you, you’re helping your business stay where you want it to be.
Lead by Example
At the end of the day, your example is going to be the first things your employees look to. If you set the standard and expectation of ethical business practices, your employees will follow suit. Don’t compromise. Be clear about what you expect to see from them and then stand up for what you and your business believe in and stand for.
Running an ethical business is essential for long term success. It will make or break your reputation and control how trustworthy your customers think you are. However, it is sometimes easier said than done. Take the time to think about what you want and expect from the people who work with and for you. Once you decide on what you stand for, you can then stand up for ethical businesses everywhere.