Operating a small business ethically, with integrity and honesty, represents a key component in attracting new clients and maintaining positive business relationships. Requiring a high level of character from all employees and business partners can help set your business apart from others and lead to the development of trust within the community.
Character in the workplace sets the tone for how your small business operates. When considering character and the impact it may have on your small business, examine the core values often related to character. This includes operating in a trustworthy manner, demonstrating respect at every opportunity and taking responsibility for your actions. Beyond these, showing concern and doing the right thing, even when difficult, represent characteristics found in individuals living and operating in an ethical manner.
Setting the Tone
Operating in an ethical manner and hiring those who have the same beliefs lies at the heart of encouraging the demonstration of character in the workplace. When employing new workers, a small business must ensure it hires someone with integrity and honesty to continue to achieve a high level of character in the workplace. Conducting background checks represents just one avenue, beyond the initial interview, that can shed light on an applicant’s personal history and character.
All levels of the organization must hold the characteristics related to character as sacred and expected. Often, organizations develop what they consider core values to help align the actions of all employees with the values and beliefs of the organization. In small businesses, owners and management must set the example and make decisions that follow these moral and ethical standards. Treating employees with respect and mentoring them to follow the principles related to character promotes a teamwork environment and also provides a positive overall experience for employees. Requiring the same level of character from all vendors and business partners can be another emphasis for small businesses.
Setting an example as a good corporate citizen represents another important component of character. This includes examining the impact every decision will have on the surrounding community — and sometimes choosing to do the right thing even at the cost of the business. Choosing positive advertising messages and volunteering to support the community represent just a few of the other ways small businesses can have a positive impact.