Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics – 4 Things to Know

There is a growing trend among small and large businesses alike to publicly align their brands with socially responsible and ethical business practices. But before you add a general corporate responsibility statement to your business website, there are other nuances to consider. Simply promoting responsibility isn’t enough to sway customers, vendors, or employees to trust your brand. You’ll need to back up your corporate responsibility statements with robust ethics policies, regular ethics training initiatives, and an ethics hotline to facilitate reporting. Here are other considerations to know about successfully proclaiming your company’s social and ethical responsibilities.

1. Why Corporate Responsibility and Ethics Are Important

Companies that fully embrace a position of corporate responsibility and ethical business practices publicly commit to fair and ethical operations. This impacts how your company recruits new employees and retains top talent. It’s also pivotal in how your business engages third-party vendors.

And those companies with strong policies and efforts to back up those responsibilities and ethics claims operate with stakeholders, employees, leadership, investors, suppliers, and customers in mind. Not committing means risking these valuable relationships and losing out to other brands with better ethics and responsibility. Exercising ethical operations builds trust and credibility. It also promotes your brand’s ability to be sustainable and profitable in the long term.

2. How Corporate Responsibility and Ethics Differ

Corporate responsibility and business ethics are different. When you promote your business’s corporate responsibility, you’re essentially stating that how you operate and conduct business is facilitated through a framework of responsible sourcing, responsible accountability, and responsible transactions, meeting the socially responsible expectations of stakeholders and the public.

On the other hand, ethics in business refers to the moral responsibility associated with business operations. These metrics and ethics policies govern how your business interacts and operates with regard to the key relationships needed to operate, including with employees, suppliers, and customers.

3. Understanding Ethics in Corporate Responsibility

In order to have corporate responsibility, you first need to be ethical in business practices. Every day, your employees, managers, and vendors face decisions in their roles. Those decisions present ethical risks, like theft, bribery, conflicts of interest, harassment, or discrimination. Any violations at the individual level could compromise your overall company’s corporate responsibility commitment.

4. Examples of Ethics in Corporate Responsibility

Recognize what ethics violations look like as they relate to your public corporate responsibility commitment. And how your company conducts business today is vastly different from business operations ten years ago. So, recognize the ways unethical behaviors can plague your operations and sabotage your ability to adhere to social, corporate, and ethical responsibility.

· Discrimination

· Harassment or Workplace Bullying

· Data Privacy

· Unethical Accounting

· Favoritism or Nepotism

· Health or Safety

· Technological Abuse

In today’s ever-changing business operational environment, you’ll need great tools and resources to help you establish and maintain efforts in corporate responsibility and ethical business practices. The ethics hotline can be a phenomenal tool for protecting both! With its anonymous reporting capabilities and extensive metrics, you can run your business with a watchful eye for protecting your corporate responsibility statements and ethics.

Connect with Ethical Advocate today to learn more about facilitating a hotline. And start reaping all the benefits of this reporting channel, including strengthening your corporate responsibility efforts and ethics in business.