Most businesses today know that they not only have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders but they also have responsibilities to their customers and employees. Most businesses today realize that their responsibilities to their customers’ affects revenue but their responsibility to their employees affects their ability to service those same customers. Most companies today realize that their employees are their number one resource.
So why is it that, time and time again, we hear of unacceptable behavior from company executives when it comes to the treatment of their number one resource?
The dictionary defines “ethics” as; “a system of moral principles” it defines “moral as; “of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong”.
Over the past few months and as recently as last week I have witnessed company executives act in their own self interest with no regards to ethics or morals. Actions that have no purpose or reason other than to shift blame for their own failings and incompetencies. I started thinking “Is this where our corporate society is heading?” Where are our moral corporate leaders? Where are the good guys that care about their fellow humans? I am saddened to say that I have lost some of my faith in Humanity if we allow these actions to continue unchallenged.
Employees and Customers, globally, should insist on ethical behavior from corporate executives when it comes to the treatment of company employees. Now don’t get me wrong, I fully support the right of any organization to terminate a disruptive, dishonest or unproductive employee. What I object to is when employees are used as scapegoats for political game play or to shift blame for the self preservation of the executive. If an executive wishes to play political games to further their career then they should live or die, alone, by their actions. If a bad decision was made or a situation will occur as a direct cause of a bad decision then be professional enough to wear the blame rather than point fingers.
Typical employees that have been in these situations usually have no options but to live with these decisions. Typically they have no resources to fight “big business”. It’s time for the ordinary people to demand that big business become ethical. As an investor I will pay close attention to my portfolio and only trade in companies that have a code of ethics in their charter that they adhere to. I will stand up in shareholders meetings and demand explanations or voice disapproval to injustices carried out on employees of the company. To do less would be to endorse the behavior that may ultimately reduce the profitability of the company that I am investing in.
Human Resources are, when all is said and done, “HUMAN”. When will executives realize that they are no different to any of their colleagues or staff? The only difference is that they are paid to do a different job or make bigger decisions. When the end of day clock is punched we are all on the same level. No one is better. One may say that I am naive to believe this. I reply in the words of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote “I prefer to see life as it ought to be”