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Creating An Ethical Workplace

September 25, 2012, 10:00 PM by Angela Kennecke

Creating An Ethical Workplace

The big cases, such as Enron, may stick out in your mind, but corporate scandals involving executives or just bad business practices make headlines on a regular basis. Unethical business behavior seems to be on the rise, but the Better Business Bureau wants to change that.
Before they even start at Raven Industries, employees learn about "The Raven Way," right from the top, the CEO.

"That's something we give out to everyone who starts with us and when we're interviewing people we talk about the values we have here at Raven," Human Resources Vice President Jan Matthiesen said.

Raven has a code of ethics in place as well.  That's very important according to the Better Business Bureau; its mission is to create a marketplace of trust.

"Following those ethical tenants of doing business the right way, be honest, be transparent in your transactions, truth in advertising, that what you advertise is what your company is going to deliver," Jesse Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.

Raven Industries looks for ethical employees as well.

"We need to find people who are a cultural fit for us and will respect that ethical atmosphere we try to bring.  We really do want the best people in our company," Matthiesen said.

And if there is a breach in ethics, Raven wants its employees to feel free to report it, so it set up a third party "alert line."

"And they're able to call if they have any concerns that they don't want to talk with their supervisor about," Matthiesen said.

"Ethical business practices start at the top of an organization and they're really driven by the leadership all the way down, that your employees feel comfortable coming to you in what they feel may be a breech in ethics," Schmidt said.

"Profitability of course is important to any company, but if you do it at the expense of other things, it's not worth it.  We make sure we're doing everything we can to do the right thing," Matthiesen said.

To learn more about how your company can avoid ethics problems visit the Better Business Bureau website.

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