3 reasons (backed by research) ethical business has never been more important

Still on the fence about committing to better ethics in your business? Lose the hesitation! The positive benefits of doing business ethically are well-documented. 

Great expectations

Simply put, in 2021, people expect the businesses they work with to wear their ethical behaviour on their sleeves. 

According to one reckoning, 68% of employees consider their employers maintaining high ethical standards as “very important”, while another 38% consider ethical standards to be a first- or second-level priority in the workplace.

According to the survey (conducted by company review site Clutch), nearly all employees (93%) agreed that high ethical standards – along with fair treatment and fair compensation, were “very” or “somewhat important” to them when choosing where to work. 

For employees, there’s a premium on companies that can demonstrate an ethiocval approach to doing business. 

A recent survey from India found that 35% of respondents would “always” reject an offer to work for a company they didn’t consider to be ‘good’. It’s a similar story for investors: 70% of respondents would “never” invest in a business they did not consider a genuinely ‘good business’.

Standards matter to spenders

It’s not just investors turned off by a casual approach to ethics. Shoppers are too. 

According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen, more than half of online shoppers would pay more for goods or services from companies that are focused on having a positive impact on society and the environment.

The same study also showed that 50% of consumers cease spending their money with companies that they consider ‘unethical’. 

Need more evidence? The stock price of the 100 most ethical firms outperforms their peers by 300%, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. [PDF]

Add to that the fact that Gartner links ethically strong organisational cultures with better compliance and stronger company performance overall. According to the research and advisory company, when corporate culture is strong:  

  • Employees are 90% less likely to observe misconduct
  • Employees who observe misconduct are 1.5 times more likely to report it
  • Employees are more than twice as likely to be engaged with their job and company, and almost 2.5 times more likely to exhibit higher levels of discretionary effort

The technology has never been better

Businesses that have implemented a robust reporting system are found to have lower levels of dishonest and unethical behaviour among their staff, while significantly improving trust and confidence in their organisation.

Furthermore, businesses with a fraud reporting hotline reduce internal theft and fraud by up to 50% through early detection. Even the deterrence effect created by the presence of an independent reporting system can have a significant impact on ethical behaviour within an organisation.

By implementing a system, such as Report It Now’s enterprise cloud reporting solution EthicsPro™, incidents are dealt with by rigorous assessment, investigation, and ultimately, action.

Report It Now helps businesses prioritise conversations about speaking up, providing the tools, resources, and training required to operate an open, honest, and transparent business. To find out more, contact Report It Now for a free, confidential consultation. 

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