All one has to do is open a newspaper to see scandal. Is it any wonder the American public has lost faith in its leaders?
As business owners, we need to regain that trust. We need to show the public that most companies are good. We can take a few easy steps to maintain ethical behavior throughout our businesses.
Ask how your company's behavior supports your ethical vision. Are you behaving in a fair way? Are you setting a good example in your day-to-day running of the business? Survey your employees and clients to see how they feel your company is doing. What are they saying about you? What do you want them to say?
Implement change if necessary. Make sure your company has a code of ethics. This is similar to a set of rules that you follow. Think of it as a guideline to use when you have to make a decision. Make this available to all of your employees. Go back to your survey to see if you find any discrepancies between what you believe you are doing and what others see you as doing. Pinpoint any gaps and make necessary changes.
Establish consistency in your operations. You need to communicate and pass along your belief system to your employees. Being ethical starts at the top. Your job is to set the example of how you are going to operate. It is something you will do every day. Every decision or action you take will be affected. You will notice your employees following your example.
"We need to live the expression: Treat others the way you want to be treated," said Sue Kastan of Kastan Consulting.
Luyk is CEO of Midnight Janitorial (www.midnightjanitorial.com).
This column is written by members of the Rochester Women's Network (www.rwn.org), which seeks to help women connect, grow and succeed.