A company should demonstrate its commitment to high ethical standards of behavior and provide documentation in the following categories. Below are suggestions of areas to address. Not all areas are required in order for a company to compete.
1. Management Practices. (if a company does not have any employees, explain how ethics are used in everyday business practices.)
- Pertinent sections from an employee handbook, company manual or training program (formal or informal) showing how ethics policies are communicated to and implemented by employees.
- Formal training and/ or procedures used to address concerns an employee may have in dealing with an ethical dilemma.
- The existence of an Ethics Officer, Compliance Officer or Ombudsman should be noted, along with information concerning the responsibilities and authority of this position.
- Formal or informal management practices and policies that foster positive employee relations.
- Employee benefits and/ or work place practices which contribute to the quality of family life.
- Actions by the business to assess risks and take appropriate actions to prevent workplace injury.
- Examples of sound environmental practices.
2. Customer/ Vendor/ Supplier/ Shareholder Relations.
- Examples of how your business has prospered because of your belief in honesty, integrity and doing the right thing.
- Complimentary feedback from customers, vendors and/ or suppliers.
- Company policies and practices that assure excellence in quality products and/ or services, and demonstrate accountability to customers, vendors and suppliers.
- Actions taken by your company showing that it went “beyond the call of duty.”
- Examples of cases where your company had to make tough decisions that had negative short-term consequences and led to long-term benefits.
- If your company is publicly traded, discuss how the corporation demonstrates accountability to shareholders and adheres to good governance practices.
3. Marketing/ Advertising/ Communications/ Sales Practices.
- Descriptions of the methods your company uses to assure all sales, promotional materials and advertisements are truthful and accurate.
- Examples of efforts by your company to improve communications, advertising, marketing and sales practices which benefit your industry as a whole.
- Sales training policies and/ or codes of ethics used by sales personnel that ensure all transactions are made in an upfront and ethical manner.
4. Reputation within Industry and Community.
- Articles in trade, industry publications and news media that reflect your reputation in your industry and community as an ethical business.
- Awards, recognition and/ or complimentary letters from others within your industry or trade group.
- Recognition for charitable and/ or community service projects.