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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do work ethics ever lead to profitability?

We are living in an era where ethical behavior is at times frowned upon, with workers wondering whether it is still possible to live and engage in ethical behavior in business. A quick survey among workers indicates that there seems to be a feeling that when push comes to shove at work, ethics are usually the considerations that are disregarded. It is however important to note that ethical business can lead to great profits and lead to business and career sustainability.
Allow me to walk you through the corridors and rooms in the hotel industry. This is one of the most sensitive sectors with regard to ethical employee behavior. Johnson has been working in one of the top notch hotels in the city over the last 5 years. Listening to him describe reasons why ethics is at the heart of all they do reveals that ethical behavior is key to profitability. As much as some people would want to consider ethics as a thing of the ‘past’, it seems like the great success factor and profitable businesses seem to be anchoring their great profits on ethical staff behavior.

Being a 5 star hotel, Johnson plays host to high flying clients on business trips. As he goes about his businesses, he realizes that as much as the hotel has indicated clearly in the room that the guests are advised to take care of their personal valuables, many guests seem to believe that all is safe in the hotel rooms. On several occasions, he has noted valuable electronics ranging from laptops to expensive digital video and still cameras left in the open as guests left for workshop sessions or dinner. At other times, guests have left huge amounts of cash unattended on top of beds and Johnson has had to keep the valuables safely.

On some other occasions, Johnson notes that there are many relatively young guests who reside in the hotel and have to be made to feel safe and free in the environment. Guests have to walk along long and lonely corridors at odd hours of the night and have to feel protected. On some occasions, Johnson has had to provide direction to the hotel guests to certain places in the city or have had to provide indicative rates for gift items and services. As much as he could have been tempted on some occasions to consider over pricing or over quoting to the guests, he has always remained true to the organisational ethical standards.

These standards spell out the expected ethical conduct of the employees across the ranks and seems to be bearing fruit. Over the last two years since the management and staff developed the ethical practice policies, the hotel has been registering improved profits. The number of return guests has been increasing by the month and the rating of customer satisfaction is on the rise. The management has also noted that some of the guests are requesting for an increased length of stay, a clear indicator that the guests are registering satisfaction at the hotel.

It could be a small practice but corporate commitment to ethical business engagement and client relations could just be what your institution has been missing to break through the glass ceiling.


  1. Thanks Kahihu for this piece. It comes at a time when I am taking a group of Young Adult Leaders through a series of Leadership and Ethics discussion. This has given me a wider thought on many things that might pass without notice. Ethics is the epitome for respect, profitability, credibility and many other attributes of people who have practiced decorum in dealing with the public.

    I am currently experiencing a situation with a finance team at an institution you know that has been delaying some payment with white lies. This is part of business ethics that everyone in the organization should learn. It starts with the security guard at the gate, the sweeper, the receptionist to the CEO and top Management Team. The script should be the same when it comes to the Ethics.

    Thanks for your very wise words on this. Keep up educating us.

    Emmanuel Dennis

  2. Very informative.
    Any one in business or management position in organizations as well as all the staff in any set up should read this. Ethics is the epitome for image and credibility.


  3. am doing a research on this and i would appreciate if there are articles,journals or papers you can refer me to....its good stuff and thanks for the input you have made

    1. Wagithi...I suggest you send me a mail on the address on the blogspot for more more interaction...kahihu


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