Five Ways Small Businesses Can Avoid Ethics Problems

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Loren G. Carlson, founder and chairman of CEO Roundtable, LLC suggests five techniques CEOs of small businesses can use to avoid ethics problems.

The five ways:

  1. Recognize there is no difference between "business ethics" and "personal ethics." There is no way to justify doing something in business that you would not do in personal life.
  2. Establish a corporate culture that rewards ethical decisions and practices. Set the right tone at the top and recognize employees who have made honorable decisions and choices.
  3. Set up an internal communication system that allows employees to express concerns directly to top management if they suspect wrongdoing or are uncomfortable with current practices. Consider appointing an ombudsman.
  4. Work with your own accounting people to reinforce the highest reporting and accounting standards and expectations. When the line between dong what is right and what is legal is fuzzy, move back to what you know is right.
  5. Know what is happening in your own company. Routinely walk around your company and talk with your employees directly. Schedule brown bag lunches with your own people in your office. Be accessible and interested.

For more information, visit the CEO Roundtable's Web site.

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