Ethics remains an essential element of any responsible company. Here are some important points to keep in mind to help integrate ethics and values into your organization.
o Understand that the intensified focus on values and ethics is not a passing fad. It’s here to stay — encouraged by an around-the-clock news cycle and newer reputation-defining tools such as blogs. Like it or not, transparency owns the future. Values and ethics are bedrock issues for organizations of all types and sizes. PR professionals need to own these issues.
o Live your code of ethics. Make sure behaviors match words. Be very clear about what constitutes unacceptable behavior. Go beyond compliance — aspire to integrity.
o Understand that it’s all about the T-word — trust — and that trust is bankable. Share the best and worst practices of others with your management team. Hold yourself accountable and expect others to do the same.
o Reputation starts with your own employees and builds up from there. Drive the ethics conversation deep into your organization. Use real-life scenarios to demonstrate the importance of every employee doing the right things. Empower every employee to talk about what your company stands for.
o Emphasize problem prevention. Listen to the signals of potential trouble and take action. Protect those who come forward. Be an organization committed to constant improvement, and provide a range of training that supports this goal.