The bigger question is, how do organisations ensure that ethical practices are at the core of their culture? The best place to start could be to find out what they already do. This can assist them in attracting people who share similar morals and beliefs, which benefits everyone. Investing in understanding and implementing minor business improvements can also go a long way. Examples are rearranging governance, engaging in community outreach, and addressing environmental impacts.
Improving work practices
People-focused policies are the way to go, but not all can be implemented quickly. Starting at a lower level can provide early returns. For example, increasing the salary of the most subordinate paid employees can help to reduce the ratio gap to the highest-paid employees. Another could be to increase parental leave pay to ensure fair treatment of people for their energy and effort. Including more life-skill training courses on cultural competence and diversity and inclusion can considerably impact.
Having an ethical culture requires sound policies at the core that need to be placed at the beginning. Integrating these policies into the onboarding package emphasises following code of conduct guidelines. These also include making processes such as whistleblower policy comfortable enough for employees reporting wrongdoings. Finally, building 360-degree feedback on the employees’ commitment to various stakeholders can ensure that ethics is woven into good governance.
Engaging in community outreach
Organisations can positively impact the community by giving 1% – 2% of their revenue towards a noble cause. Other initiatives could include volunteering at a marathon to raise money, offering scholarships to students, or donating at small libraries. Creating partnerships with ethical vendors, who share the same ethics and values, can be another way. It can help determine if they are purpose-driven and assess their ethical impact on the community.
Addressing environmental impact
Adopting day-to-day initiatives such as using recycled paper and discarding single-use plastics can reduce carbon footprint. Long-term solutions include switching to renewable energy, purchasing carbon offsets and including fuel-efficient cars in the organisation fleet. Another practice could be bringing in products through ground shipments such as rail or truck.
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It is always essential to assess the impact of policies and processes to determine whether they are the best for everyone. It is vital to do this, considering the ethical model discussed above.