2B — October 25 - November 7, 2013 — Owners, Developers & Managers — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal

By Glenn Ebersole, P.E., Hollenbach Construction Business ethicsmust be presented, preserved and promoted! B usiness ethics are al- most a daily topic in the news, in business www.marejournal.com O WNERS , D EVELOPERS & M ANAGERS

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violations of ethics. Acting un- ethically means that eventually you will be caught. Today is a very opportune time to take ad- vantage of the current business environment to present ethical behavior as a requirement, not an option. 2. Present ethics in all daily interactions with internal and external stakeholders. Unfortu- nately too many people perceive that ethics only need to be pre- sented to “bad” companies that need to reform. Well, my experi- ence indicates just the opposite. Companies with strong track records of ethical, responsible behavior have the most to gain from a well thought out system to assure the cultivating of ethical corporate culture. Every action by every employee in an ethical culture will reinforce and further the company’s posi- tive reputation. 3. Present the desired ethical behavior in an ethics code of conduct. Ethical conduct of each employee must become a habit of every minute of every hour of every day. No exceptions, no waivers and no suspensions of the ethics code! 4. Preserve ethics to let every- one know ethics is here to stay.

While there may be “newcom- ers” to embracing ethics in busi- ness, ethical and responsible conduct have always been the standard at many companies. Even when ethical conduct may fail to improve the bottom line as strongly as desired, the alternative of operating unethi- cally is not a viable option. This commitment will preserve and extend the reputation that has been earned through consistent ethical conduct over time. 5. Preserve an ethical culture that serves as a foundation. If you are not put to a test, then it is easy to say you act ethically. However, what do you do when you are faced with the tough ethical decisions? A very posi- tive affirmation that your ethics program is a success is when there is an embedded culture where people will make the right choices, even when those choices are difficult, inconve- nient, or adverse to the short- term interests of the individual or company. 6. Preserve an ethical culture that perpetuates ethics. Consis- tent compliance with a strong code of ethical conduct will be a major stimulus to having eth- continued on page 6B


s choo l s , i n t h e w o r k - place and in our homes. I have closely o b s e r v e d business eth- ics for quite s ome t ime and especial-

400 Richards Run, Burlington, NJ in the Haines Center

Glenn Ebersole

856-764-2600 | www.whitesellco.com Commercial Office & Industrial Real Estate

ly during the years of the Great Recession. I am astounded at the remarks of major corpora- tions in this past decade when they said they “waived or sus- pended” the ethics code or re- quirements. I am still at a total loss at how anyone can “sus- pend or waive” ethics. While I may not be able to explain the suspension or waiving of ethics, I do hope to provide some solid advice on what business and other organizations need to do today to present, preserve and promote ethics in their orga- nizations. Here are ten action items I recommend: 1. Present ethical behavior as a requirement, not an option. Major business corporations are standing trial, literally and figuratively, for very strong

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