Ethics and compliance are the key issues in today’s business environment

Talk about the Human Resource department in a company, the first thing that comes to the mind is Policies, procedures, values, ethics and compliance to all.

Ethics and compliance today have become the key issue in any organization. A lot of time, money and effort are invested in crafting an ethical policy, and more importantly its implementation (called compliance) at the ground level.

Ethics are a set of guideline made for everyone to follow in an organization. This means they are a few statements that are documented on paper giving it a very theoretical look. Compliance on the other hand is the conversion of the theory into practical by making sure that everyone in the organization in their not only goes through it, clarifies all queries on it and agrees to comply on it.

There are different reasons why ethics have become a key issue in today’s business environment. These are:

  • As they say the world is shrinking and becoming more aware about their rights
  • Businesses are expanding multifold throughout the globe
  • Technology is advancing very fast
  • The countries law and regulations are changing very soon.

A few examples of companies that demonstrated week ethical aspects:
The Enron scandal in the year 1980 threw light on issues like ethics its compliance and responsibility that companies have towards the society and its employees. It was for the first time in history when public met terms with reality that all organizations do no act in the best interest of the people.

Satyam (Indian software company) was another one that got exposed recently. Both these companies collapsed after their fraud and huge debts were exposed by the media to the public. Every customer expects companies to ethically demonstrate their responsibilities at the business and social level.

Ethical guideline must be complied by all kinds of organizations and at all level. McDonald (the burger company) also learnt its lesson on ethics and compliance. The company lost a huge customer base because of the exposure of poor nutritional value in the burger and its contribution to the obesity of children.

Globalization is another factor that demands ethical projection by any company that enters in the market to sell their services and products. Different countries, different ethical definitions. A definition that suits one might not suit the other. In cases where the organization has branches spread across the globe, they must have ethical standards that conform to their own culture at the same time consider ethics of the other countries as well.

The advancement of technology has further complicated things. Any customer from any country can buy your product. A good example to support this one would be the introduction of processed food that might not be like or accepted by certain sections of the society.

Or there can be other privacy issues related to the world of computer. Issues like password sharing amongst employees, hacking of personal details, taking company data home, social engineering.

In order to maintain protection against security, the companies must invest in special security departments who ensure that compliance to organizational ethics apply to all levels of the organization.

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