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Prioritising profits and market share over ethical considerations was once the mainstay of many businesses. Being cut-throat in order to gain the competitive edge was perceived as necessary to succeed. 

Cut-throat Companies

Cut-throat business tactics are where no care or consideration is shown for the harm done to others. The priority is profit and it is pursued no matter the cost. This approach may initially help with securing contracts or outperforming rivals but what is the long term cost?

Companies that are purely profit driven are at risk of:

  • Unhappy Employees
    When companies don’t treat their staff like individuals and instead foster a competitive, bullying and toxic culture their are huge repercussions. Not only is it ethically dubious but profit can be adversely affected. Multiple studies have highlighted that when employees are unfairly treated, they are less productive, more likely to engage in deceptive behaviour and much less likely to stay with the company long term.
  • Reputational Damage
    If you have a toxic work culture that has lead to staff high-turnover, chances are word has spread and damaged your reputation. Additionally, if you’re aggressive or don’t follow through on your word with clients and/or customers, they will remember this and many won’t work with you again.
  • Legal and Ethical Challenges
    Unethical practices can lead to legal challenges, fines, and damage to a company’s brand. In the long run, a lack of integrity in the pursuit of high profits may prove costly.

Businesses with Integrity

In contrast, companies with integrity consider their employees to be individuals and show compassion and care for their staff. Organisations with integrity demonstrate strong moral values and foster a collegiate culture where everyone is encouraged and supported to succeed.

Consider the benefits for businesses who have integrity: 

  • Customer/Client Trust
    As highlighted in this great Medium piece Why Integrity is the New Career Superpower — And How You Can Use It, integrity builds trust. “People with integrity often succeed where others fail because they understand the power of human relationships and use this knowledge to their advantage.” Businesses that prioritise integrity create trusting relationships with customers and/or clients. Resulting in long-term relationships and loyalty.
  • Improved Employee Satisfaction
    Feeling valued and acknowledged as an individual is fundamental to employee satisfaction. An ethical and values-driven workplace also leads to higher staff engagement, and retention. 
  • Sustainability
    Companies with a commitment to integrity are more likely to build sustainable business models. This is due to greater consideration of the long-term impact on the environment, society, and stakeholders.