At times, people wonder whether ethics and business mix. The assumption seems to be that it is not possible to act ethically and also excel in business.
The truth is that there is no contradiction between ethical conduct and business success. In fact, acting ethically ultimately enhances a company’s profitability.
A titan in the aviation industry in South Florida, Thay Humes has used his U.S. Air Force background to cement the future of his company, Humes McCoy Aviation as a mainstay in the aviation arena. Professionally and personally, Mr. Humes embodies a set of core values that demonstrate the honesty and integrity within him.
Here, Mr. Humes describes three reasons why ethical business makes the most sense:
- Employees become committed to the company.An ethical business treats its employees with respect – compensating them fairly, protecting them from hazards, keeping them informed, and responding to legitimate concerns appropriately. When employees are treated this way, they respond by treating the employer fairly and honestly. Typically, they are less likely to slack off, steal from the employer, or behave in a way that is contrary to the company’s interests. The company’s respectful treatment of its employees is the beginning of a “virtuous circle” that improves employer-employee relations and enriches the corporate culture. The result is that employees become fully committed to the business and are motivated to do everything they possibly can to advance the interests of the business.
- Clients become loyal to the company.An ethical business treats its clients/customers with respect – marketing and selling without deception, providing full value for money, and carrying out all commitments. When clients or customers are treated this way, a relationship of trust develops. They become loyal to the business, and a durable business relationship ensues. Such clients/customers are unlikely to listen to competitors’ offers.
- The public becomes receptive to the company. An ethical business conducts its affairs in a way that is consistent with the wellbeing of the whole society. It complies with all statutory obligations, and it fulfills the role of a good corporate citizen – paying its fair share of taxes, protecting the environment, and contributing to philanthropic efforts. Members of the public are impressed by this conduct, develop a positive impression of the business, and are receptive to becoming customers/clients if and when they need that product or service.
While there are examples of unethical business conduct that led to (short-term) success, ethical business behavior is the only solid foundation for long-term success for a business. Behaving ethically is smart and beneficial for a company as well as for the economy.