The benefits of ethical behavior in business and leadership - a practice guide

By Christian Hainsch


In business and leadership, ethical behavior is not just a nice-to-have, but a game changer. Even though we ethicists often take the negative examples to show the added value of ethical behavior, there are more positive aspects and benefits when we integrate ethical behavior into our professional lives.

Here are a few highlights from the world of leadership and business ethics!


Build trust and gain reputation with ethical values:
Companies rooted in ethics earn more than profits; they earn trust. A good reputation attracts customers, partners and investors and therefore has a long-term positive effect on business.

Ethics boost morale and increase productivity:
A job in a company that is built on and acts according to ethical core values promotes a positive corporate culture and motivates employees to give their best and act according to ethical standards. And we all know that: Satisfied employees are productive employees.

Ethics make loyalty a stable currency:
The customer is a "shy deer" and if something doesn't fit, they disappear very quickly into the thicket of competition. Modern consumers are opting more for brands that are in line with their values and also live these ethical values. Ethical behavior is not just a marketing tool here, but promotes customer loyalty and commitment and thus ensures better customer loyalty and more sales.


Ethics contribute to risk mitigation and serve as a protective shield:
Ethical behavior acts as a protective shield against legal and regulatory risks and ensures a stable business model. A practised value model within the company, regular ethics training and an ethical working environment help to avoid unethical behavior and practices and thus contribute to the company's compliance culture. Compliance needs ethics as a basis.

Ethics promote innovation and help to realize vision in the long term:
Managers who behave ethically prioritize long-term success and innovation. They deal constructively with setbacks and mistakes and thus establish an open culture of error. This in turn contributes to employees daring to try out new ways of thinking and acting. They can trust in the integrity of their manager. A culture of integrity leads to creative thinking and innovation in the company.

Ethics attract top talent:
It's not just about the money. Work has to be meaningful and many potential talents today don't just want to work somewhere. They specifically choose companies that represent values that correspond to their own and are critical when assessing them. Talented professionals are looking for ethical workplaces. Be the employer of choice by leading with integrity.



Ethics is social responsibility, environmental compatibility and sustainability:

A company that acts ethically and whose managers have a clear ethical framework assumes social responsibility and is committed to sustainable practices. Employees and managers understand that it is about more than profits and see the company and themselves as part of society. They take responsibility for their actions and organize their work with aspects of sustainability, social participation and the protection of our environment in mind.


Ethics promote a positive working environment:

Ethical leadership creates a positive working environment that fosters open communication, collaboration and fairness. The ethical values that a manager exemplifies influence the corporate culture and therefore also the employees. Ethics become the benchmark for decision-making, dealing with conflicts and communication.


In the dynamic and highly competitive field of business and corporate management, the importance of ethical behavior is increasingly in the spotlight. Ethics is not a compulsion but a catalyst. Beyond profit margins and market dynamics, ethical behavior is proving to be a critical factor in the success and longevity of companies. It's not just about doing the right thing, but also about doing the smart thing to be successful in the long term. Let's champion ethics, not just as a moral compass, but as a strategic advantage.


If you would like to use ethics as an opportunity to improve your business, contact me and together we can shape the ethical foundations for a successful future.