Over the weekend, I was talking to a family member about how the company they work for wastes an extraordinary amount of materials. Now, this company works very closely with construction as a vendor of items that they need to complete their jobs. He was telling me about how they throw away huge amounts of wood! In fact, we are in the middle of building a carport at our home and he brought home 8 pieces of plywood that were out by the dumpster ready to go to the dump! They are brand new and still have the SKU stickers on them.
So let me ask you, the company you work for, what do they do with “leftovers”? Is it a restaurant, a construction company, a coffee shop? And if it’s your own company, what do you do with goods that you don’t need or want? Do you have any programs in place?
Colorado has a large homeless population. "The most recent Colorado Statewide Homeless Person Count published estimated the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in the state at 16,203". WOW! That's a big number!http://www.urbanpeak.org/colorado-springs/about-us/research-evaluation/homelessness-in-colorado/) These are not just single men and women, but families too! Can you imagine worrying day in and day out about where your next meal is coming from? Where you’re going to sleep that night? And you have kids to protect, feed and clothe.
Homelessness look different for everyone; it could be because you were in an abusive relationship and this was your only way out; you lost your job and weren’t able to find a new one to take it’s place. There are so many reasons why people are homeless. We don’t walk in their shoes and couldn’t possibly understand what life is like.
But one thing I do know. I am human and I can do my best to have empathy and to try to find ways to give back. I can contribute to their well-being by donating clothes and food. I can volunteer my time at a food pantry or a shelter. I can use my talents to make blankets when the weather changes and give them to those less fortunate.
So let’s come back to what companies can do. Perhaps you work at a cafe. At the end of the day, you have left-overs, What do you do with them? Do you have programs in place so that this food can be donated?
Perhaps you work for a company that doesn’t have goods that can be donated. Maybe it’s a financial institution or a salon. There are ways you too can help. Encourage your team to donate a day of service at a one of the shelters. You could teach them about how to take care of the small earnings they have. Or you could do haircuts free of charge to assist those who are trying to find a job. Or set up some sort of program where your team can bring in donations that get picked up monthly.
We all have things at home. Clothes our kids have outgrown, shoes we don’t wear or like anymore, home goods that are not useful anymore because we redecorated. There are so many ways we can all make a difference! As a company or corporation, what do you do to contribute?
Lastly, think about the impact you can make. As a Company or an individual. Think about how you want to be viewed in your community. Do you want to be known as Socially Responsible? As Ethical and Compassionate? As givers? Comment below.
Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conducted and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations.
Business ethics refers to contemporary standards or sets of values that govern the actions and behavior of an individual in the business organization (or environment). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics
So why is this important? Let’s say we have a group of 5 lawyers, one of them specializes in criminal law, one is a prosecutor, one does contracts, one divorce, and the last one medical malpractice.
They all know each other and even play golf together once in awhile. They often run into each other at social events and at conferences. They’ve even been opposite each other in court!
But what I want to point out here is this: Regardless of their professional relationship, they also have a personal relationship. Even though they have been on opposite sides in a courtroom, at the end of the day, they shake hands, and head out to enjoy a cold beer.
So what do we have here? We have a group of people that share the same profession, yet show each other professional courtesy and there is a high level of respect. Our lawyer who does Divorces, doesn't try to read a complicated contract between 2 businesses that are merging. This is not his specialty. But he knows someone who does this day in and day out. He refers these companies to his colleague that practices Contract Law, Let me say it again, this is professional courtesy. It is having a level of respect for friends, colleagues and others in your profession and know your own limits. We have colleagues that are much better suited for jobs we aren’t. After all, it would be impossible to know it all!
And as a side note, let me say, it is not a weakness to admit that we don’t know everything, nor is it weakness to refer a potential client to someone better suited for the job. Additionally, don't we want to provide the highest level of service we can?
In the case of our lawyers, it takes many years of schooling and continuing education for every branch of law. But the same can be said for anyone who practices their profession in a niche. If you plan to be remarkable at your craft, whatever it may be, then the same dedication and hours of study need to be invested.
So now think about this: If you’ve spent your time and energy into a particular skill set, and you are remarkable at it, then if you have a potential client who needs services in an area that you know little about, what do you do? Refer the client to a colleague OR try to fill their needs in a “the best way I can” sort of way. This now becomes an Ethical Dilemma, or does it?. What do you do? Comment below...
What does Ethics mean to you? Comment below…
Let’s examine the meaning of Ethics… And this comes from an article on the Santa Clara University website and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
“What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well-founded reasons.”
“Secondly, ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards. As mentioned above, feelings, laws, and social norms can deviate from what is ethical. So it is necessary to constantly examine one's standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. Ethics also means, then, the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct, and striving to ensure that we, and the institutions we help to shape, live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly-based.”
So how then does this apply to Social Media and your Business in the digital space?
Many industries have codes of ethics. For example, Leadership Ethics, Sports Ethics, Social Sector Ethics, & Bioethics. These are just a few examples. Some of the more common are Legal, Medical, & Journalism. Does your industry have a code of Ethics? I bet it does! Do you know what standards you are held to?
If you know and have a good understanding of the code of ethics that governs your industry, you’ll have a better handle on what is expected of you in Society, which translates directly to your digital footprint.
Let me give you an example: Interpreters have a code of ethics that they must adhere to. Now, if an Interpreter jumps on FB and shares a rant about how one of the defendants in today’s trial began yelling at the Judge and “quoted” what the defendant said, would this be a violation of their code of Ethics? YES! It is. Canon 3. Confidentiality Privileged or confidential information acquired in the course of interpreting or preparing a translation shall not be disclosed by the interpreter without authorization. This interpreter could be sanctioned or lose their certification all together.
So let’s go back to SM again. This interpreter shared confidential information from a trial. While the trial transcript at some point will become public record, it is not ethical for this interpreter to share this information.
Perhaps most people wouldn’t know this. But what about others’ in her industry? What about the attorney’s that she provides work for? This could and most likely will damage her reputation and anyone who sees her post will loose confidence in her work. Now she has lost the trust of her colleagues and clients.
Ethical issues are a part of your overall Voice on Social Media.
Circle complete. One last bit of advice. NEVER post in anger, frustration or in the heat of the moment. Why? Because you can never take it back! Despite what you may think the DELETE button doesn’t delete it from the internet forever. It will live somewhere on a server and someone will find it one day.