Creating and fostering an ethical corporate culture are essential to the overall viability and sustainability of an organisation. Not only does an ethical corporate culture attract a greater customer base, but it also increases employee retention and attracts investments.

The challenge, however, is in embedding ethical behaviours across entire departments and supply chains. As organisations cultures pass down from long-serving to new employees, the process of embedding codes, policies and procedures across the organisation becomes extremely difficult. Thus, organisational culture is influenced not just by written regulations, rules and policies, but also by unwritten codes of ‘how we really do things around here.’

Leveraging expertise and knowledge from a global network of consultants, GoodCorporation, this webinar explored regional challenges and opportunities of embedding an ethical corporate culture.

The following topics were discussed in detail:

  • Assessing business ethics and the role of GoodCorporation
  • Brief history of ‘culture’ as a business issue
  • What happens when culture goes wrong
  • What an ‘ethical' company culture looks like
  • Challenges in maintaining a good company culture in the age of remote working
  • Overcoming the challenges maintaining and enhancing a culture of cohesion and inclusivity within a more fragmented and uncertain working environment 

Click here to access the presentation used throughout the webinar session. 

What we've learnt:
  • The challenge to setting up an ethical corporate culture is translating a document that sits in the head office, to the day to day business operations both internally and externally with subsidiaries and companies in the supply chain.
  • Decision makers in business naturally default to short-termism where yielding higher profits in the short-term outweigh their considerations for long-term business success. To achieve an ethical corporate culture, there is a need to shift this mentality and focus more on the long-term benefits of ethical business conduct. Research has shown that ethical companies outperform their counterparts who do not abide by ethical business practices. 
  • Ethics goes beyond the law and doing what is legal – it is about doing what is right. Sometimes, actions that are within the bounds of the law can still be considered wrong.
  • Ethical training is an important component to fostering an ethical culture in the workplace. These trainings should feature real life examples and need to be marketed properly – in line with global marketing trends
  • “Speak-up” initiatives should not about who is making mistakes and acting unethically, it is primarily about how can organisations make things better and prevent wrong-doing.
  • Stressing the value of ethics, particularly in times of crisis, is extremely important as employees might make the wrong decisions when under pressure.
  • Some of the key features of a good ethical culture include:
    • Ethical tone at the top
    • Fair treatment of employees, suppliers, and customers
    • Trust in management
    • Employees supported to do the right thing
    • Confidence in raising concerns
    • Health & safety taken seriously
    • Environment and local communities treated respectfully