Tell The Truth: Because Eventually You Will Be Found Out
In the words of William Shakespeare, “no legacy is so rich as honesty,” and if you are starting a business, the legacy of honesty you leave behind will be remembered more than other accomplishments. The first word used to describe business people is their honesty or lack thereof and that should tell you the importance of doing business ethically without having to compromise your principles.
Being honest is more important in the digital age because any misrepresentation about what you do spreads like wildfire over the internet and if you try to hide it you only magnify the problem.
Truth And Success
Having a spokesperson sugarcoat any blunder your company made was part of doing business in the past but the immediate access of information makes it a foolish decision today. If a customer identifies your company as being ethical and honest it will strengthen your position with your customers and the business community at large. The consumer and other businesses will want to do business with you because they will be getting what they are promised.
Speaking With One Voice
Speaking with one voice lets everyone know there is one person in charge. If and when your company makes a mistake make it crystal clear there will only be one voice letting people know what has taken place and what is being done about it. When the decision is made to make it public only state what you are able to deliver even if the effort seems small, it is better to announce an accomplishment in the future than an apology.
Everyone in your company thrives in the culture you create and if you bend the law and you reside in a gray area of what is right or wrong eventually white lies become part of the culture and as Austin O’Malley said “those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind”. So it is imperative to establish your startup with what you believe in and let everyone know nothing short of that will be tolerated of anyone including yourself.
Even if everyone knows the culture of the company a policy of honesty will make it clear for any maverick who thinks it is OK to do what they want. Train your employees and make it part of your orientation for new recruits to inform them unethical behavior will not be tolerated and quick and decisive action will be taken if anyone doesn’t follow the policy of your company.
Choosing The Right Employees
The employees you choose to work for you will determine the general culture of the company. When you are recruiting prospective employees don’t get overwhelmed by their accomplishment and overlook characteristics which can be detrimental to the overall welfare of your company. Even with a strong policy, culture of honesty and ethics in place the wrong employee can influence the rest of your staff in a negative way.
The benefits of making your company operate honestly are too numerous to mention just as is the negatives of not operating honestly. What you choose will determine the longevity of your company and the reputation of your name.