The business leaders of tomorrow are guided by the ethics they develop now.
That was the message I shared with the Wyoming Future Business Leaders of America as the keynote speaker at their Fall Leadership Conference in Buffalo, Wyo.
My own values were influenced by my prairie roots.
My roots on the prairie on Northeast Colorado instilled a deep sense of community pride and appreciation for history. I learned a strong work ethic, grit and resourcefulness. I like to think my entrepreneurial spirit can be traced back to my Great, Great Grandmother who made a living rounding up wild horses in a box canyon, on what is now the Pawnee National Grasslands.
Ethics are values in action.
We designed the Orbis Values Compass to help organizations gain clarity about their personal drivers – the beliefs and principles that guide our actions and motivate our behavior. Our values are the standards for our work and what we accept from others.
Fill out the following form for a free download of the Orbis Values Compass.
Professional standards equate to business ethics:
- Quality of work
- How we serve customers and work with others
- What makes a positive work environment
Does your organization have a Code of Conduct?
The Ethics & Compliance Initiative (Est. 1922) brings together ethics & compliance professionals and academics from all over the world. Through its research, ECI identifies the practices that improve ethics & compliance program effectiveness and build institutional culture strength.
In companies with a culture emphasizing strong ethics, 85 percent of employees note favorable outcomes; yet the global median of companies with strong ethical standards is 14% (Global Business Ethics Survey, 2021).
Avoiding ethical problems takes strong leadership. ECI suggests 4 ways to set high ethical standards:
- Learn discrimination laws and rules and regulations that affect your industry.
- Maintain transparency and honesty in financial reports.
- Set up a confidential system for reporting ethical violations.
- Train employees so they understand company policies and share resources to combat unethical behavior.
The strength of an organization’s ethics culture is “measured through multiple indicators of employee behaviors at various levels within an organization, including leaders, supervisors and coworkers,” according to ECI.
When everyone in the organization is clear on their own personal values, and feel understood and appreciated, then the team will perform at a higher standard.