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People Power – Your Business Runs on Teamwork
By John McDonald

Whether it is in your personal life or in business, people are the most important part of our lives. Relationships are essential, teamwork is essential, leadership is essential in all aspects of our lives. The people in our lives must be valued and respected, whether they are a co-worker, friend, or spouse.

In business teamwork and relationships are key to achieving winning outcomes. In fact they are a must for the smooth operation of any company. Without teamwork, good relationships, and clear leadership many areas of the business can be impacted.

Customers are people too! Customers are the lifeblood of any company, without them no company can survive. Whether an individual’s role is customer facing or not, it is important that every team member in the company be focused on customer satisfaction.

Also, don’t forget the importance of letting customers know that they are appreciated.

To be successful as a team, the individuals have common elements:

  1. Common purpose
  2. Interdependence
  3. Mutual and personal accountability
  4. Satisfaction from mutual working
  5. Common business goals
  6. Clear roles and contributions
  7. Empowerment

Leadership is crucial. In business, teams rely on managers and executives to give clear direction and business goals. The most important asset a business has, are its people. They should be empowered to represent the interests of the customer and be encouraged to build strong relationships based on trust and honesty. In order for this to happen, it is essential that its employees have strong business ethics. The leaders of the business must also abide by these ethics and lead by example.

The ability to give outstanding customer service is a differentiator for any business. Each customer should be left with a positive impression of your company and feel that they are respected and valued. Customer service practices should always show good business ethics that prove that you are a company that can be trusted.

Successful teams with strong business ethics, build stronger customer relations that translate higher levels of customer satisfaction and more revenue for the company. It’s worth remembering that people are the most important asset, whether they are staff or customers!

Six Tips to Improve Workplace Ethics

  1. Setting the Tone at the Top: Top management must act with integrity at all times in order to maintain an ethical workplace. If top managers emphasize the need to act with integrity, but don’t follow through with their actions, employees will notice.
  2. Examining Candidates’ Values: The people you hire can positively or negatively affect your workplace ethics, so you should hire employees who place a premium on an ethical work environment. Someone who strives to move up in a company at any cost could be viewed as an ambitious go-getter, however, if a worker starts cutting corners or fudging results, he or she could begin to undermine your ethical environment.

  3. Implementing Formal Policies: Workplace ethics should regularly be discussed among business partners and employees, and a written policy that outlines ethical practices should be set in place to avoid ethical misunderstandings.

  4. Harnessing Strong Internal Controls: Internal controls are processes designed to provide a reasonable assurance that your financial statements are credible and accurate, that your company complies with applicable laws, and that its operations are efficient. Internal controls help safeguard the company’s assets and ensure that decisions made by management, lenders and investors are based on accurate information.

  5. Sustaining an Ethical Workplace: A tone at the top that stresses integrity, a written ethics policy, a commitment to hiring employees who take ethics seriously and a system of strong internal controls will help you develop and sustain an ethical workplace environment. Work with a business consultant and a CPA to ensure that your ethics policies and internal controls are operating as intended.

John McDonald is a veteran in ERP Deployment projects with over 20 years experience in ERP and Project Management. He is the director of sales at Entry Software. Follow Entry Software on Twitter.

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