#13: Working Ethically

Sorry guys, I am a day late (but not a buck short!). Today I have a great post for you on a very, seriously important topic - being ethical in your work.

There are many facets to this concept and it's applicable to literally anyone. Being honest and ethical is something that is very dear to my heart. My goal today is to share some facts and give you reasons why it's so important and necessary to be ethical in your workplace, whatever your workplace may be. 

First, let's define ethical. Merriam-Webster defines the word "ethical" as "following accepted rules of behavior : morally right and good". Further breaking down the word we can define what "ethic" means - "the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group". Simply put, our system of ethics stems from our core personal values. 

Now let's take a look at where ethics stand in American business. According to a 2013 Effective Practice Guideline's report from the Society for Human Resource Management, nearly HALF of all U.S. employees report witnessing unethical or illegal conduct in their workplace. That's a really high number... and the unethical conduct is seen in all levels of businesses from ownership down to the very last employee. 

Nearly HALF of all U.S. employees report witnessing unethical or illegal conduct in their workplace.

I say that it should not be that way. There are so very many reasons why it shouldn't and why we NEED to pursue ethical work decisions. Today I'll share with you 3 very important ones (this is by NO means an exhaustive list, but I think these are pretty poignant ones.)

1. Loving Others

I know you're going to say "Amanda, it's business, let's keep personal feelings and all the warm fuzzies out of it." But I can't. We are all people and each of us desire love. What better way to show that than by acting ethically in the workplace? Loving others does not always mean going out on a date and being mushy. It means loving that person enough as another human being to be honest, to serve them, and to treat them exactly as you would wish to be treated yourself.

When you love your customers as an employee (yes, even those rude, aggravating ones), most will tend to show appreciation back and it'll make your life a whole lot more pleasant. When you love others as a manager and don't act belligerent and belittling to your employees, but rather patient and understanding, they'll love you back with respect, motivation, and hard work.

2. Good Ethics = Good Business

This is proven. Businesses that conduct themselves with high standards of ethics tend to have better profits and bigger growth. In an article titled, "Good Ethics = Good Business" (yea, it was so good I had to use it), China Gorman writes, "..the stock price growth of the 100 most ethical firms (based on the most widely used measure of ethical workplace culture) outperformed stock market and peer indices by nearly 300%." Further, Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" index shows annualized returns of 11.06% in comparison to 4.36% for the Russell 3000 and only 3.38% for the S&P 5000. (The last two indices are not based off of ethics but company size, scope, and stock market value.)

So in laymen's terms - ethical companies do better than less ethical companies.

Why? Well I would tell you that's because God gives them favor, but you can decide that for yourself. ;)

3. Trust

If you're an employee, this means those above you will trust you. This means when a promotion comes up, the fact that you're honest, dependable, and trustworthy is absolutely put into high consideration. 

If you're a business owner and your clients have seen that they can trust you, that you do what you say you're going to do and you do it on time, they're going to want to come to you over anyone else offering the same product/service.

If you're a manager, this means your employees will trust you, and you'll gain respect and loyalty. And believe me, that will make your job so much easier and enjoyable when those who answer to you trust and appreciate you instead of fear and dislike you.

Like I said, there are far many more reasons to conduct yourself ethically when it comes to work. However, I do hope you've come away with at least a few reasons to commit yourself to being honest and ethical every day at work.

As for me, my number one is reason is because that's what Christ calls me to do. Being a freelance artist and business owner, nothing is more important to me than conducting my business with the highest level of ethical integrity. My values are based of off biblical principles, and while I'm admittedly not perfect (whoa, shocker!), I will always conduct my business relations based off of those guiding values.

Can you think of some other good reasons that I didn't share? Please comment below and share your perspective!

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Thanks again friends :)