Ethics – an absolutely essential key to a company’s long-term success. It’s the glue that holds culture, creativity, innovation, teamwork, and everything else that matters together. As Mary Kay Ash says,
“Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.”
Begin at the Top:
For ethics to take root and grow within a company, it must begin at the top. Starting with the owner(s), the board members, and the entire C-Level, ethics must be the focused foundation. This includes:
- Integrity: Honesty in every detail – from budget to design to materials; from first-run to post-production tests and evaluations; in other words – in every aspect – at every level.
- Responsibility: Taking personal responsibility for completion of tasks – on time. Taking responsibility for when things go wrong (whether you call it glitches, error, or mistakes), ethics means being willing to say those magic words, “I take full responsibility.” And then taking action to correct it.
- Trustworthiness: Establishing a pattern of behavior that builds trust. A pattern of fulfilled commitments, promises met, quality work – you get the picture.
- Reliability: Being there. Attending the meetings. Arriving on time and not leaving until the job’s done. Doing the work. Doing it well. Enough said.
- Professionalism in conduct: Treating everyone, regardless of position or diversity, with respect. Appropriate language and tenets of communication – verbal and written. Appropriate attire for the task and position.
Do this in your workplace and with your stakeholders. It can be surprising to see the wide range of differences in what people consider acceptable behavior and a breach of integrity.
Establish Company Procedures:
While it’s true that “Integrity has no need for rules.” (Albert Camus), since we are all humans and prone to self-protection, it is fundamental to lay the groundwork. Every worthwhile organization has their code of ethics, rules of behavior, standards of operation, and a successful company must follow suit. The key to a successful plan reverts to the first point. Establishing a code of behavior is the first step – following it must begin at the top.
Set Consequences and Uphold Them:
The strength of your company policies is in direct correlation to the commitment behind them. For example, if you have a zero tolerance policy on drugs or downloading pornography on company computers, then be prepared to stand behind it – even if that brilliant upper-level engineer gets caught. Don’t fall into the trap of looking the other way. No double standards. It will filter all the way down to entry-level and create a negative impact on your company culture.
Don’t Let Money Create a Roadblock:
A wise use of finances is essential, of course, but too much emphasis on cutting costs can result in encouragement to cut corners – which quickly destroys your reputation for integrity, reliability, quality product . . .
Ethics in the workplace boils down to the moral principles and standards of behavior that are set in place by owners/managers and upheld throughout the entire organization. Strong ethics create a sense of “we’re in this together,” and "we’re proud of what we do and how we do it." When ethics happen, success follows.
MPS Technical holds to a high standard. We believe in and operate on integrity, taking responsibility, reliability, trustworthiness, and professional conduct. We watch for these qualities in both clients and candidates. That’s why you can count on us to be a positive force in precision manufacturing. Contact us today.