EASLEY — When Linda Gallicchio suggests that business integrity pays off at the bottom line she frequently get the response, Really?
Gallicchio is the associate director for Clemson University’s Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics.
Her job is help attract individuals and organizations who are passionate about integrity and ethical judgment. She spoke recently to members of the Greater Easley Chamber of commerce.
Her argument is that over the long term operating a business in an ethical manner builds a brand that is respected and trusted and that leads to positive results for the bottom line and percentage growth in earnings that she documents.
Integrity is something that most people view in terms of morals, but Gallicchio argues that making a business argument for Integrity catches the attention of business leaders.
A seven year study of the companies listed on a collective called the World’s Most Ethical Companies trend that they average are 7.3 percent more profitable than than the average for the S& P 500 list.
To be successful in branding integrity Gallicchio suggested companies need to create an ethics statement and live by. Company leaders need to live by the ethical standard. She says, employees will hit the standards more frequently when they see leaders following the standards.
Employees tend to be more productive when they see leaders acting ethically, she said.
Even knowing that no plan is perfect, Gallicchio said that employees respond positively if there is a system of reporting poor ethical behavior that works.