Saturday, February 1, 2014

How Do You Define Businesses With Good Ethics?

Social corporate responsibility is a popular buzzword in today's business marketplace, but it's kind of a subjective term rather than a concrete one - what does it really mean to you?

This is a short list of traits that are commonly associated with businesses with good ethics, feel free to add your own ideas in the comments at the end of the post.
  • Eco-friendly
  • Sustainable material sourcing
  • Good human resources practices
  • Going the extra mile - whether for internal or external stakeholders
  • Community service-oriented
  • Charitable giving
  • Making sure every action supports the corporate social responsibility parameters as set by the company leaders.
What do you think? What ethical practices would you add to our short ethics list if you were preparing it?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Business Ethics News: Registration Is Open for the Compliance Week 2014 Conference for Ethics and Compliance Professionals

A Compliance Week conference can provide a great forum for learning about the latest business ethics news, as well as for networking with other industry professionals and representatives of some major corporations. If you are looking for just such an opportunity, then good news is at hand, because the Compliance Week 2014 conference for ethics and compliance professionals is open for early-bird registrations until January 31, 2014.

The conference runs from May 19-21 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC.

Attending the conference is not cheap, (details available at the link above, as well as the agenda and guest speaker list) unless you think of it as an investment in your career or your business. In THAT sense, the things you have the opportunity to learn become invaluable and worth far more than you will spend to attend.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Business Ethics Quotes to Live By

Great business ethics quotes cannot always be separated from guidelines for living an ethical life. The first quote I would like to share today, found on the Josephson Institute for Business Ethics Facebook page (you'll have to be a member of Facebook to open that link) , leads right into that belief....

"Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself." — Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM (1874-1956) 1/10/13

"People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world."
-Michael Josephson

...and now three of my personal favorite ethics quotes...

"Positive change in your life will not be finished today, but it can start today" - unknown author

"Choose to think good thoughts, then act on them." -author unknown

"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do" -Jack Kerouac

How about you? Do you have any favorite personal ethics quotes that could just as easily stand as positive business ethics quotes? It would be awesome if you would share them, if you do...

Monday, January 6, 2014

What Is a Business Code of Ethics?

A business code of ethics is a written declaration an organization uses to define primary values and ethical standards.

Businesses issuing these written statements generally expect workers and management to function within the published set of guidelines.

This tells both outside stakeholders and internal stakeholders what to expect.
  • Internal stakeholders (the employees and management team) know what is expected of them.
  • External stakeholders know what to expect from the company and its representatives.
For an example of a published code of ethics, you can take a look at Nike's "Inside the Lines" which is the company's officially promulgated and somewhat extensive code of ethics for its employees to follow.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year from Ethics Buzz!

Well, if you're reading this, you made it through 2013 with us.

Ethics Buzz would like to wish you a healthy and prosperous 2014!

May the coming year be filled with blessings, peace, and joy for you and yours!

Check back often, sign up for email updates, or follow our RSS feed for updates as we have a lot of great information and changes coming for 2014.

and... once again... Happy New Year!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Five Ways a Business Can Do Good at Thanksgiving and Christmas

The holiday season, beginning around Thanksgiving and stretching past Christmas, provides business managers the opportunity to reach out to the community.

The holiday season can provide an ideal opportunity for a business manager to ramp up an organization's corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. After a fairly long economic downturn, however, a business might not have a lot to invest in a holiday CSR program. That does not mean a business cannot give back to the community; because there are a number of ways a business can give back without breaking the bank.

How to Generate a CSR Strategy Without Spending a Lot

Employees and even customers can participate in these feel-good programs, reducing the cost for the company. Notify the local newspaper, radio, and television stations through a press release to maximize community awareness of the program. The company should, if possible, either match donations or contribute more than the employees and customers.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Social Corporate Responsibility Ideas

1. Adopt a family - While adopting a family is probably the most common at Christmastime, businesses can adopt a family at Thanksgiving or any time during the winter months. A Thanksgiving adoption can include providing a hot meal for the family, or covering any other need mentioned by the family members. Churches, shelters, and most need-based agencies can provide names of families in need.
2. Food drive - Business can set up food drives to help feed the hungry in the community. Decorate and set up a large cardboard box where customers, employees, and community members can drop off non-perishable foods. The food can be distributed through a local food bank, church, or to a single family, depending on the success of the drive.
3. Coat drive - A coat drive makes a good winter and holiday project in cold climates. It is similar to a food drive because you set up a drop box and people can drop off new and gently used coats. Companies opting to hold a coat drive should ideally plan to pay for mending and cleaning the gently used coats.
4. Hat and mitten drive - A hat and mitten drive is a spin off of a coat drive. The advantage of a hat and mitten drive is the size. Not very much room is required for storing and transporting the hats and mittens. Donated items can also be displayed around the signs to draw attention to drive.
5. Holiday meal. This is the most costly idea listed here, but joining forces with other local businesses, churches, shelters, or food banks can cut costs for the business a while also providing a location for meal. To make this work, the business or businesses donate the food and location and either seek volunteers to prepare and serve the meal, or offer to pay their employees to help out.
While not a substitute for a year-round social corporate responsibility program, these ideas provide inexpensive ways a business can reach out to the community and promote good will during the winter holiday season.

How to Plan and Promote a Winter Hat and Mitten Drive

A business or organization can hold a hat and mitten drive to help people in the community without spending a lot.

The cold winter months can seem to drag on forever; especially to people without warm clothing. Having a hat and mittens in a cold climate can keep a child, or a less fortunate adult, from getting frost-bitten ears and fingers. Hat and mitten drives are often held around the holidays, but are a helpful idea throughout the winter season.

Planning a Hat and Mitten Drive

Of all the types of charitable giving an organization can choose from, a hat and mitten drive is one of the easier ones to plan. You do not have to put a big budget behind the drive, and you can really make the drive as big or as small as you like.
  • Decide on a budget - Consider the cost of signs, either handmade or professionally printed, any advertising budget you want to put behind the drive, and purchasing a few hat and mitten sets to start the drive, or mitten clips. Mitten clips are a nice idea if they fit into your budget, because you can use them to display the hats and mittens during the drive and pass them along to the recipients when the drive is over.
  • Find a group in need of hats and mittens - This probably will not be too hard. Places to check include schools, churches, hospitals, children's homes, nursing homes, shelters, and anywhere else people who cannot shop for themselves might congregate. Find out how many sets of hats and mittens are needed for the group; so you can figure out how much it would cost to donate that many pairs of mittens and hats if you do not get enough outside donations.
  • Decide if you want to put up and decorate a mitten tree or string the donated hats and mittens around the room like garland to draw attention to the drive.
  • Set up the display - Make the display colorful and inviting, with a large, eye-catching sign.
Promoting a Hat and Mitten Drive
  • Put up signs - You need to have at least one sign at the donation site, but will get more donations if more people know about your hat and mitten drive. Put the signs anywhere you think interested people will see them. Anywhere you find a bulletin board is a good place to put up a notice. Churches, laundry mats, grocery stores, and campus recreation areas are just a few ideas.
  • Put out press releases - Let the community know about your organization's charitable efforts and invite participation through press releases to the local television station, radio station, and newspaper; as well as any community flyers that are regularly distributed.
A hat and mitten drive is a simple and inexpensive way an organization can help individuals and families in need; if your organization wants to do something to help the community, but does not want to hold a hat and mitten drive, you will find some other business charity ideas in Five Ways a Business Can Do Good at Thanksgiving and Christmas.