Business Ethics
It can be easy to consider business ethics as low on the list of priorities when it comes to training your employees. However, if your employees lack a basic understanding of business ethics then it can lead to immoral or even illegal practices which can impact your organization’s reputation, and therefore your revenue.
Business Ethics Courses

What are business ethics?

To put it in simple terms, business ethics are the guidelines your employees follow to ensure the output of your business abides by moral, ethical, and legal principles. It ensures your employees are aware of their responsibilities to maintain integrity, build trust, and grow your reputation with not just your customers and clients, but stakeholders as well.

Many business ethics principles are guided by law, while others surround ethical and social factors. Of course, all legal standards must be met, but in many ways, it’s equally as important to make sure your business focuses on these wider principles.

There are a number of principles business ethics center around, which may or may not apply to your organization depending on the industry:

  • Corporate responsibility, such as the obligations your business has to employees and customers, for example providing a safe working environment and ensuring minimum wage.
  • Earning and keeping trust, which is vital for retaining employees and customers.
  • Personal responsibility, where employees provide the service they were hired to do to the highest possible standard.
  • Respect, both from the organization’s and your employees’ point of view.
  • Loyalty, including what this means to your organization and how it can be demonstrated.
  • Being fair and inclusive to ensure all employees are treated equally.
  • Environmental responsibility, including being mindful of what your organization is doing to prevent unnecessary wastage and lower its carbon footprint.
  • Social and community responsibility, which ensures your business is aware of its impact on the wider community and culture.

Why are ethics important in business?

When your organization invests in ensuring employees have an understanding of business ethics it helps to protect your business, your employees, and your customers from a legal and moral standpoint.

Abiding by business ethics principles protects your organization by preventing it from unfair and dishonest behavior, and ensuring a high standard of service can be delivered consistently.

This not only keeps your clients and customers safe and satisfied, therefore growing their loyalty, but builds trust and loyalty in your employees. When employees are treated fairly and work for a business built on ethics it helps reduce turnover and prevent burnout.

This all contributes to your organization’s reputation. With more and more attention being brought to environmental and social responsibilities it’s important that these principles become a focus for your business.

This is why business ethics training should be an integral part of your employees’ learning and development.

Why is business ethics training important?

Without training, your employees won’t be equipped to identify and resolve potential problems that arise surrounding ethics. That means your business risks creating moral and legal issues that could otherwise have been avoided. Unless employees receive training they could unwittingly cause ethical problems, and training demonstrates that your business has done everything it can to instill ethical practices.

Training on business ethics isn’t simply a box-checking exercise. It helps to establish your culture and communicate your beliefs as an ethical and moral business, both internally and to your clients and suppliers.

Do all employees need to learn business ethics?

Business ethics practices are some of the foundations of your entire business. As a result, all of your employees, from senior managers to new starters, should have at least a basic understanding of business ethics.

Your senior employees make the decisions that affect how your business operates and what direction it moves in, while others will oversee day-to-day operations and speak directly to customers. Each plays a part in demonstrating the ethics of your business and therefore contributes towards building and maintaining your reputation.

It’s also important to consider that the consequences of any unethical or illegal practices may include irreparable damage to your reputation, fines, or even legal action.

What's the best way to learn business ethics?

Business ethics is an important topic to include as part of a learning and development strategy, and one that many businesses overlook as a priority. So, what’s the best way for your employees to take business ethics training?

In-person learning can be useful, however, it can be both expensive and time-consuming, especially if a large number of employees need to spend time away from their day-to-day duties.

Blogs, books, and videos can be good resources, but you risk the information becoming outdated. There can also be questions about the source of the information in articles or videos, particularly if they’ve been produced by an unknown or unverified author.

A flexible option is eLearning. By taking a business ethics course online, you ensure your employees can access up-to-date materials for an affordable cost.

The benefits of learning business ethics online

As well as providing your employees with the information they need to protect your business from potentially immoral, unethical, and illegal practices, online ethics courses have a number of other benefits to your business.

Because eLearning materials are ready to be accessed right now they’re cost-effective and can be scaled easily. That means, regardless of the size of your organization, your entire workforce can learn from the same reliable, high-quality material. This includes employees who are office based, as well as hybrid and remote staff.

If your business utilizes a learning management system (LMS) then you can track which employees are engaging with training, and identify who may need additional support. This allows your business to demonstrate that you’ve done everything to communicate solid ethics and morals throughout your organization.

What topics are covered in online business ethics courses?

Online business ethics training courses can be broad and cover the basics, or they can focus on a specific topic. Courses covering the fundamentals of business ethics are helpful for training all staff, while training that delves deeper into a topic may be more appropriate for senior management or staff in specific roles.

For example, beginner training will cover topics such as:

  • What are business ethics?
  • Employer rights
  • Employee rights
  • How to implement ethics in the workplace
  • Environmental and social responsibilities
  • Identifying unethical practices
  • How to report unethical behavior

Meanwhile, more intermediate or advanced training will cover topics such as developing your business ethics and corporate ethics and social responsibility.

With training, your employees will understand business ethics, why they’re important, and how they can put them into practice.

What are the best business ethics courses?

Some of the best online business ethics courses include:

Train your employees in business ethics with Go1

Here at Go1, we have a vast database of eLearning courses that you can use to train and upskill employees throughout your business. For more information on how Go1 can help your learning and development strategy, book a demo with a member of our team today.

Book a demoReach out to the friendly Go1 team to learn why over 3000 organizations choose Go1. We would love to hear from you, and start your Go1 journey together. Go1 offers the world's largest digital learning hub of +100,000 resources and growing, delivered by the biggest names in eLearning, across a vast range of topics and industries. Whether it’s personal development, compliance or onboarding, Go1 is with you as you grow.
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