• Susie Wilson

Honesty, integrity and loyalty never go out of style.

Honesty, integrity and loyalty never go out of style

Ethics concern an individual’s moral judgements about right and wrong. Decisions taken within an organisation may be made by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be influenced by the culture of the company. The decision to behave ethically is a moral one; employees must decide what they think is the right course of action. This may involve rejecting the route that would lead to the biggest short-term profit. An ethical approach is fundamental to sound business practice as it underpins the structures and systems used to ensure good governance and without it, governance will fail. So the first of our Golden Rules of Corporate Governance is that the business morality or ethics must permeate an organisation from top to bottom and embrace all stakeholders. Somehow, you cannot talk about manners without including ethics, especially in the business world. One way or another, our behaviour and moral values define us, positively or negatively. Everything starts with manners and ethics. They are the measure of how others will evaluate you, and both are essential for you and your business. Manners come into play every day, all day, and in every area of life. We will never know how many business deals have been won or lost because of one’s social skills. Knowing the ins and outs of business practices plays an important role in your success, yet it is only part of the overall picture. ” Manners, or etiquette, is about more than knowing which fork to use or how to shake hands, and business ethics goes much further than simply reading a company’s handbook on policy and procedure. In business, you cannot have two sets of standards. We have seen this play out in recent years, and many large corporations have fallen like a house of cards, wrecking the lives of those who depended on them. Many people were left with nothing, not even the retirement packages promised them. Sadly, some have taken their own lives because of unscrupulous business practices. Honesty, integrity and loyalty never go out of style. They create cohesion among others and are essential for a healthy business. When we take on a “me-first” attitude, it creates distrust and discord in those around us. To be well-liked and become a successful professional, one should stick to a code of ethics in the workplace. Make your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no, so your coworkers know that you are a person of your word and can be trusted. You should never have one set of manners for someone in a position of authority and another for everyone else. One should show the same respect to the boss as he or she does to the maintenance worker or the person that cleans the office. As a leader, one should never ask a subordinate to follow a rule that you are not willing to obey yourself or to do something unethical that will put them in a compromising position. This is equally important to all levels of staff. Never compromise anyone’s integrity. Whatever your position, consideration for others will win you respect, trust and loyalty. Manners, ethics, loyalty, integrity and honesty—these things never go out of style. They stand the test of time and will help you sleep better at night. Cultivating these practices is always in good taste and will always reflect well on the company and yourself. One definition of etiquette: “A code of behaviour that delineates expectations for social behaviour according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group.” Ethics is defined as “that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, concerning the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.” I feel these two definitions go hand in hand. Most of us were taught manners and ethics as children, and what was taught in the home reflects greatly on the ethics someone will bring into the work environment.