Ethics is a term generally used to describe basic principles that every good person should abide by. Yet, many people have not heard of business or entrepreneurship ethics. Entrepreneurship ethics is the guiding light for business owners and senior leadership to create a sustainable enterprise. Therefore, the right ethics have to be ingrained in the very culture of a firm.
In this article, we will be covering the topic of ethics and culture of entrepreneurship, and why every great business venture needs it.
Treat Your Employees Fairly.
A common rookie mistake that new entrepreneurs make is to underpay their employees. Your workers are not emotionless machines that will work without looking for something better. You have to make sure that your workers are being compensated properly.
This compensation does not have to be in the form of a wage, a common way that startups reward their staff is by giving them shares. You have to keep in mind that talented individuals generally join startups with the aim of striking it lucky. This is why in order to attract the best talent, you have to be fair consistently.
You can’t be good at everything, no matter how hard you try. Time is limited, and in order to be the best at something, you have to be entirely focused on that one thing. This is why you have to hire experts who are experienced at what you are not so knowledgeable about.
In addition, you have to give your employees credit for their achievements and contributions. This will make sure that they are well motivated and also feel valued.
It is understandably enticing to try and make a lot of money very quickly. However, real success and wealth happen over many decades of dedicated work. Many entrepreneurs overthink in regards what it takes to make a great business. You do not have to reinvent the world; all you have to do is provide considerable value for a large period of time.
Greatness is never instant, although it may seem so. Instead, it is many years of mistakes and experiments before you are able to create a product or service that is truly brilliant.
Every business that aspires to be a market leader must choose a goal that they will be focused on achieving. This goal will depend on your industry and what kind of market leader you want to be. It can range from being the most affordable business in your respective industry or the best service provider.
Running a business can be addictive; the potential of making so much money can be a great distraction to your insecurities. You have to keep in mind that life is short, and you should live it. It is not good enough to work every waking hour while you are young and at your healthiest. There is no point in having all this money if you are not going to use it to improve your qualify of life.
This point is not just directly at the leadership of a private company. It is also important to note in regards to how you treat your employees. Your employees also deserve to have a work-life balance. In fact, letting your employees take time off work is actually proven by multiple authoritative studies to be more cost-effective.
Allowing your workers to take time off will allow them to recharge their batteries. So, when they come back to work, they will be much more efficient. It is truly a question of quality over quantity, it is better for your employees to be doing quality work rather than simply working for long hours.
Change the World for the Better.
In the 21st century, the ethics and culture of entrepreneurship have evolved. It is no longer enough to just focus on year-on-year growth and how large your profit margins are. There has been a particular focus on the positive impact that businesses can make.
A simple and easy way to do this is to give some of your profits to charity. Alternatively, you can give away a proportion of the products that you sell.
For example, supermarkets have begun to giveaway out of date food to food banks that distribute it to low-income families. A further example is clothing brands that are giving away a clothing item for every item that they have sold. With the clothing items being sent to individuals in developing countries.
There are also more ambitious companies that are working on developing solutions to key issues. This includes food security, cost-effective water desalination technology, and electrics cars to bring down emissions.
If you are not doing anything bad, then you have nothing to hide. As an entrepreneur, transparency is a free tool that you can use to improve yourself and your business venture. Pretending to be more successful than you actually are can be seductive, but is the wrong way to go about things.
By making the reality known to your employees and customers, you and your management team can work on real solutions to your issues. Full transparency means that your business performance metrics are public. Information such as your revenue, profit, period growth as well as the performance of individual business units.
Many businesses will be fearful of revealing such information for fear of it being somehow exploited by competitors. This is the wrong way to think, you should not focus on your competitors, but on improving your business. Through full transparency, all the stakeholders of your company have to opportunity to take action.
We only have one planet, and we need to look after it. For much of our history, the majority of businesses have ignored the negative impact they have on Mother Earth.
Things are changing, however, as the consequences of our actions are becoming much more clearer. A key pillar of any modern business leader’s ethics should be to make sure that their business is not a burden to the planet.
Making your business eco-friendly will be a long transition. The global economy is still shifting from being powered by fossil fuels to one that is sustained by renewable, non-polluting energy sources. So do not worry, you do not have to risk bankrupting your business in order to make it eco-friendly. What is more important is that you devise an achievable framework to make your business more sustainable.
Becoming sustainable as a business is not just good for your planet, but can be a major selling and marketing factor. Increasingly, more and more consumers are willing to pay more for brands that are eco-friendly.
Don’t Break the Law.
Finally, a very important point to highlight in regards to the ethics and culture of entrepreneurship is following the law. Regulation can be expensive and time-consuming. But the costs of not following the law can be even greater, both financial and reputational.
You and your company must develop a culture of self-control in order to minimize the chances of lawbreaking by your corporate staff. A good way to start is to run yearly training sessions that include an overview of why keeping to regulation is important. After all, you cannot blame your staff if they have not been properly educated.
Moreover, large companies also have entire taskforces that monitor that the workforce is operating within the boundaries of the law. This further minimizes the chances of a lawbreaking corporate culture spiraling out of control.
If you disagree with a law or regulation, there is no problem with that. You can lobby or raise awareness for things to be improved. However, while this legislation is still in force, you need to respect and uphold it. Doing so will help to build a positive public image and a thriving corporate culture that will take you as an entrepreneur to the next level.
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