Business Leaders

Corporate Responsibility And Ethical Considerations For Business Leaders

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23.08.2023

Corporate responsibility should play a major role in the objectives and organization of any business.

Businesses must consider the impact they are having on society and the environment — better business practices are being demanded on a worldwide scale.

The average consumer is more environmentally and socially aware than they used to be. Companies that are found to be committing acts that harm groups of people or the environment can suffer greatly in overall revenue. By trying to improve corporate responsibility sooner rather than later, one can decrease the chance of their business being called out for antiquated practices and increase the chances of success going forward.

How to make ethical decisions as a business administrator

Decision-making is a process. It is important to approach decision-making carefully in order to avoid mistakes and miscommunications and ensure that the best choice is made for the customer and company alike.

Here are some suggested steps to make sure that each decision made as a business administrator is given the attention and consideration that the company and customers deserve:

Evaluate each choice in great detail

Sometimes decisions involve choosing between many options. It can take considerable time to thoroughly consider each choice, but it is well worth it to do so. As a business administrator, one must consider how each possible choice will impact shareholders, customers, and the general public.

Of course, one must also understand their limitations within their company. For example, if it is known that a specific course of action has no chance of being acceptable to the management and owners of the company, then it is not really an option worth pursuing at all, even if it has a high likelihood of offering significant benefits.

Make a list of potential consequences

There are always consequences for every action. Even actions that have an overall positive impact can have a few negative consequences. By considering all the consequences, one can make the choice that has the highest number of positives.

In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with others to determine the full extent of possible consequences. For example, environmental consultants may be required to determine the impact a choice has on local waterways.

Network with other administrators and friends of the company

Sometimes it is good to have a few informed people to throw ideas at and get their opinion. Doing this can result in seeing things from a more unique perspective and avoiding missing something that could be important to consider. Business associates are sometimes a good source for good advice and opinions, especially if utilizing them in any way to make a specific decision.

Sometimes things do not work out as expected

No matter how hard one tries to make the right choice, there is a possibility that things do not turn out at all the way they hoped. In the business world there is always the possibility of unexpected events derailing even the most well-planned decision.

The most important thing is to acknowledge when something is not going to work exactly as planned and then regroup and figure out if there is anything that can be done to achieve the same goal through different methods and strategies. If not, then the plan may have to be thrown out the door and a new one may need to be devised.

Choose a workplace with aligned values

A good business leader should carefully consider where they apply and accept employment. It can be very hard to work at a company that one does not align with in terms of commitment to the environment and overall societal wellbeing.

While there is something to be said for making changes from within, a company that diverges too much from one’s own values may prove to be an exercise in futility if, for example, a business leader succeeds in being hired and tries to enact too many changes that go against the previous track record of the company.

Of course, it is important to consider if a company has proclaimed that they need new leadership to take them into the future and create a greener and more ethical set of corporate values and strategy. In this case, it may be worth considering taking a position even if the company has made some decisions in the past that could be seen as highly disagreeable.

Avoid making hasty decisions

There are times when decisions must be made quickly, but it is important to take time whenever possible. It is very hard to consider all the possibilities and consequences when rushed to make a decision. While there is a lot to be said for seizing opportunity, all too often, if something sounds too good to be true that is because it is.

Similarly, if a party is rushing another — especially in business — one should always ask themselves why they are doing so before making a choice.

Always advocate the right choice

Convincing others that something is the right decision can be quite difficult at times. This is why it is very important to thoroughly research all aspects of the choices one feels the most strongly about. Being able to answer questions in detail without any delay can go a long way toward winning others over and ensuring the business is making the most ethical choice overall.

Consider what the competition is doing right and wrong

It always pays to see what the competition is doing, and if there is a way to make a better choice and get ahead, then the opportunity should be seized. Having better ethical practices can quickly give a business the edge it needs to get ahead of its closest competition.

At the very least, it is important to match them when it comes to practice. If a business is cutting corners and making what is considered by many consumers to be unethical choices, while their competition is getting awards and certifications for being green, then they need to find a way to even the score or face the possibility of losing what market share they currently have.

Become a strong business leader

Being a business administrator is not easy for those who do the job well. It is important to develop a set of skills and gain experience in the business world. Obtaining an advanced degree is one way to help hone

business and leadership skills.

There are many different types of advanced business degrees to consider. One may be wondering should I earn a PhD or a DBA? While both are doctoral business degrees, a Ph.D. is better for those who want to concentrate on theoretical research, while a DBA is better for those who want to apply theoretical knowledge into a real-world business setting. Marymount University offers excellent online PhD and DBA degree programs that will give students the skills they need to help a business rise to the top of their industry.

Get feedback from employees

It can be hard to know everything that is going on at a company, or even think of a product or service from all aspects. Employee opinion can help leaders see things from a different perspective and offer key insights into what is going on at the manufacturing level.

Here are a few of the skills that will serve business leaders well during any decision-making process:

Communication

It is important for business leaders to have great written and spoken communication skills. While many are quick to point out that people do not write a lot anymore, the truth is that actually, we often use writing as a form of communication. No matter if it is through email, chat, or using Slack, AirTable, or other platforms, business leaders are writing to their team members frequently, so it is essential that they are able to convey information clearly and concisely.

As a business leader it is also important to be proficient in public speaking, as they are often presenting thoughts and ideas to others via video conferencing or in board meetings.

Conflict resolution

No matter how well everyone generally gets along at a company, there will be times when there are conflicts. These conflicts may range from a mere difference in opinion regarding a business decision, to personal or ethical conflicts that can happen within any workplace.

Good business leaders are able to help others resolve conflicts and come to a solution that is better for everyone. Part of this process is working with business administrators to create a clear set of guidelines for conflict resolution so that everyone has a chance to be treated fairly and ethically.

Organization

Planning any decision and managing other people requires a high level of organization. It is important to get organized as early as possible in a business career. The use of various software programs and organizers can go a long way. Learning to prioritize tasks helps one to focus on what is most important and make the most of their workday.

Patience

Good decision-making takes time. No matter what projects one is taking on, it is important that they practice the art of being patient with themselves and others. While being prompt is important, being too impatient can make others have a hard time working with someone or even liking and respecting them as a business leader. Making well-thought-out decisions and taking one’s time when interacting with others typically yield better results.

Cultural awareness

The business world is much more diverse than it used to be. This is especially true for companies that are doing business on a global scale. Learning about other cultures and backgrounds is helpful and prevents miscommunications or unintended slights against others.

It is important to ensure that people from all backgrounds are comfortable working for and doing business with a company. It may be up to a business leader to help foster a plan to increase cultural awareness at their company on all levels.

Team building skills

In the business world, it is important to know how to work well in a team environment. A leader’s job is to ensure that a team works well together and has the skills they need to do their job as well as possible. This can be more challenging at times than one might like, but it is a very important aspect of being a strong business leader.

Finding methods to improve the way employees work together and how connected they feel is something that business leaders should take the time to do on a regular basis.

Networking

Successful business leaders know how important networking is, and regularly take advantage of any opportunity to do it. From conferences and meetings to LinkedIn and online seminars, networking can help land opportunities at one’s doorstep.

Networking is also extremely useful for recruiting new talent from a large pool of potential candidates for open positions at a company.

Find ways to increase morale at the company

Sometimes it can be hard to keep up morale, while other times it is quite easy. It is important for workers to have a positive outlook and be happy at their job. The more satisfied workers are the more they will try to meet or exceed expectations.

There are many ways to increase morale at a company, including offering performance bonuses and opportunities for advancement.

Ethical business practices

There are many ethical business practices that an increasing number of companies are finding the value of incorporating into their strategy.

Here are a few examples of ethical decisions business leaders face:

Source of materials

The way in which materials are produced that are used in products can have a major influence on the purchasing decision a customer makes. For example, on an ethical basis it is better to use organic cotton in clothing manufacturing than cotton, which is heavily sprayed with pesticides. While the price is higher for organic goods, a lot of customers are willing to pay more knowing they are not contributing to harming the environment.

Materials that are produced using underpaid and child labor are looked down upon and considered entirely unethical to use by many customers in modern times. As a business leader, it is very important to check to see what the conditions are at the facilities that produce the raw goods or products that one’s company sells.

Overall labor practices

More people are demanding that their goods be produced by people that are guaranteed a decent or livable wage and benefits. Sure, products may be cheaper that are produced by those that are making less, but it may not do a company any good to have bad publicity from unfair labor practices.

Finding ways to correct any labor practices that are less than great will also increase the morale of workers and lead to fewer mistakes and better-quality products.

Environmental practices

Companies that are environmentally friendly are quite popular. Having practices that show a company care about their environmental impact helps customers feel a connection with the company. Not only that — they will feel that they are committing a good act by purchasing their products or services.

A company being honest about their environmental impact and taking steps to negate it also shows the customer that they are offering up transparency rather than trying to hide the way they do business.

Listen to customers

It is important for a company to get feedback and suggestions from their customers or a demographic that they intend on marketing to. Many companies do this through online surveys and forms. Hiring an outside firm to do studies is not uncommon at mid-size and larger businesses that are looking for ways to improve products and customer relations to increase revenue.

Business plans

Corporate responsibility should be part of any business plan. Many companies need to take a long look at their practices and revise their code of ethics to include more responsible and sustainable practices. Switching to better practices may cost more, but it will result in greater profits due to more people and businesses choosing that company to purchase products or services from.

Making good ethical decisions is the responsibility of any strong business leader. It takes careful consideration and time to evaluate a decision from all aspects, and thus reduce the odds of costly mistakes.

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Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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