Religious Edicts Dictate Ethical Business Practices

Religion has been an important entity in developing the social, political and cultural guidelines throughout most of anthropological history. Before there were skyscrapers, banking systems and online trading platforms, there were men, women and children sacrificing articles of food & possession to appease the god(s) that watched over them. And although, through time and space, a countless number of cultural societies have developed their own beliefs, bounded code & spiritual awakenings & rituals, there are common guidelines throughout all sects of religion that promote a sense of morality and well-being for their fellow man. Whether you believe in it or not, understanding the basics of most religion can not only free the philosophical mind, but it can also create a greater starting point for better business practices, moral conduct & increased success.

Here is an interpretation of the Ten Commandments that can help build your company’s ethics and compliance policies:

  • “Thou shalt have no other gods before me…” — Always remember that your employer & your customers always come first, and it’s unethical to, say, steal company contacts for your own business or trade a stock in your own account before executing that of a customers.
  • “Thou shalt not unto thee any graven images…” — Mis-representing your employer, customer, or even yourself in a negligent manner is extremely immoral. Employees should always hold themselves to a standard which is in-line with the company’s moral & ethical statutes.
  • “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain…” — Using your company’s name, reputation and/or assets to support your own personal endeavors is unethical. Although minor uses for personal email or browsing news sites are generally accepted, employees should be held accountable for more extreme misuses of company property or brand.
  • “Honor thy father and mother…” — This one can be translated a little more loosely, in that, you should always be respectful when interacting with your co-workers & manager-types (or diversity programs, etc).
  • “Thou shalt not kill…” — Again, translating this a little more loosely, workforce violence, use of intimidation, black-mailing, extortion, etc are all extremely unethical in the workplace.
  • “Thou shalt not commit adultery…” — Gaming customer/employer accounts against each other to gain extra commissions and/or funneling assets between accounts are unethical and illegal.
  • “Thou shalt not steal…” — Intellectual property is the new wave of ambiguous territory for ethics, so use moral judgment when setting up and securing identity information and preventing fraudulent activity
  • “Thou shalt not bear false witness…” — Make sure that your ethics and compliance procedures explicitly states that protecting or knowledgeably withholding information is immoral and/or unethical, and should result in termination
  • “Thou shalt not covet…” — Understanding that the pressures of having industry competitors often could lead to proprietary information leaks or breaches in security. Make sure that security is in place, and also that ethics and compliance systems incorporate preventative measures for these types of actions internally or toward competitors.

Understanding the social dynamics and underlying moral code that exists within each cultural & religious sect creates a unifying bond through which we can begin to grow our businesses. Just remember that ethics is an important part of all civilization, and these basic, fundamental, nurture-driven principles can be the basis by which you create, modify and implement your business practices to put together a winning environment.

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