Good Ethics is Good Business
Our reputation for being an ethical company creates long-term value. Customers come back to us. The best and brightest employees come to work for us. Communities welcome us. Investors place their faith in us. All because we have a reputation for honesty, integrity, and fairness.
Think of your own experience. Wouldn’t you rather do business with a company or work for a company that treats you honestly and fairly? Have you ever not done business with a company because of its poor reputation?
Without a good reputation, relationships are damaged and business is lost. No one wants to do business with an organization that does not have a good reputation, one whose ethical standards are questionable.
What can you do to ensure that BBNC’s reputation is a business asset and not a business liability?
Take Actions That Enhance Our Reputation
Our company’s reputation is re-created every day. Each interaction with our customers, shareholders, communities, and with each other, create BBNC’s reputation. Each of us can take specific actions that will enhance our reputation with our stakeholders.
Our customers are the lifeblood of our company. Promise only what you can deliver. Never compromise product quality to “get it out the door.” Never give customers anything that could be construed as a kickback in order to win business.
We have a vital interest in the communities in which we do business. Follow all procedures for disposing of hazardous waste. Obey traffic laws. Find opportunities to contribute to local community organizations.
High ethical standards attract the best people to BBNC. Each of us is responsible for maintaining those high standards. Treat each other honestly and fairly. Hire and promote people based upon their abilities. Protect privacy by safeguarding confidential employee information.
Our Policies and Code of Conduct are Resources
BBNC’s policies and Code of Conduct are resources to help guide employees. Be familiar with the laws and guidelines contained in the Code (especially with laws and guidelines that specifically relate to your job responsibilities).
Report any situations that you feel violate company policy or the law. Report the situation to your supervisor or, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your supervisor about the incident, contact the Ethics Hotline or the Compliance Department.
Our reputation is one of our most important assets. You can protect and enhance our reputation by following company policies, the law, and your own sense of right and wrong.
Our subsidiary can win a contract if I promise delivery by the end of the year. We can only deliver half of the services required by the contract. I know that the customer plans to use only half of the services by the end of the year and we could feasibly deliver the remaining requirements later. May I make the promise and amend it later?
Do not make false promises to customers in order to win business. Work with the customer on this point. If the customer can accept half now and the remainder later, perhaps they will accept your proposal up front.
I was in a chat room on the Internet where there was a discussion on our industry. One of the participants made comments about our company that were untrue. I logged on and corrected the misnomer. Was that OK?
When participating in chat rooms or live industry events, do not represent BBNC unless you have previous authorization to do so. We have trained and authorized certain employees to speak for the company in public. Although your purpose was noble, speaking in the chat room about company matters was inappropriate. Do not confirm or deny information or divulge any confidential information.
A customer of the subsidiary I work for is always asking for special favors outside of what our company specifies in the policies. I have always done what I could because the customer knows other people and could “help us or hurt us” if he talked to others in his industry. Now he is asking for favors that cost more than just my service time, what should I do?
It is great that you have been accommodating to our customer. It sounds like you have been a real team player and given 110%. If the customer is now asking for extra service, perhaps your supervisor or other leadership should reexamine the existing contract terms. If the customer is asking for gifts or gratuities, higher management should handle this. Certain favors can be done for the customer in exchange for his good will but our company policy forbids any kind of kickbacks, bribes, or inappropriate business gratuities. You should speak to your supervisor about the specifics, seek more help from higher management of the Compliance Department if need be.