COLUMN: Westwell of Ely says ‘too many people sit on the fence and hope it will get better soon’

COLUMN: Westwell of Ely says ‘too many people sit on the fence and hope it will get better soon’

COLUMN: Westwell of Ely says ‘too many people sit on the fence and hope it will get better soon’ - Credit: Archant

Unethical businesses that increase the price of their goods by eye watering amounts such as the one that sold a product for about £3 one day and suddenly, overnight, started charging £67 for the same item, certainly deserve the contempt they receive.

Unethical practices, such as rebranding products simply for the purpose of making excessive profits are also justifiably condemned.

We all know that there are businessmen and women out there for whom making a profit is their only purpose and they will do almost anything to get it so that they can buy their expensive houses and cars and live their luxurious lives - lives that they consider are far better than the lives of the riffraff who work for them or who buy their products.

Consider the recent chaos of an airline company that cancelled thousands of flights because it couldn’t provide the pilots.

We are told that the pilots were dissatisfied with their lot. If this airline had concentrated on making conditions good for its staff, the problem would probably not have occurred.

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The same airline has had to be told by the authorities to behave ethically towards the customers and help and inform them. Why should any company have to be told such things? If you or I were in the chief executive’s position, we would be highly embarrassed if someone had to remind us of ethical business practice.

However, as the recent Ely Standard Business Awards evening has shown, there is more to business than profits and there are businesses out there that not only obtain reasonable profits, but they behave ethically and look after their staff.

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Yes, profits have a place – a business cannot survive without them, but unless a business is seen as a mini society in itself, unless the managers believe in behaving ethically and see their workforce as individuals who have needs and who deserve respect and support, our free competitive society is doomed to fail.

This also applies to any groups that are formed for achieving specific goals. With competent and ethical leadership, success is bound to happen. Any unethical behaviour should be challenged and altered, not just by the authorities but those who share the same boardroom.

Managers who override reasonable requests from colleagues and are intent on satisfying their own wishes even as far as feathering their own nests irrespective of the consequences, should be challenged regularly until ethical standards are established.

Too many people sit on the fence and hope it will get better soon. The time to act is now, no matter how irksome the task might be. When something is not right, ask for an explanation and keep on doing so until a sensible balance is restored.

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