Most people agree that running a transparent and ethical company is of the upmost importance, but how often does that assertion manifest in the real world? With the complete saturation of Internet access, social media influence, and smart devices that capture any and every bad behavior, I would say that ethical and transparent businesses are more common that you might think. At least, they should be.
The increasingly large and viscous court of public opinion has made business owners jobs harder than ever before. Unhappy people have access to platforms and audiences that simply didn’t exist before. Bad behavior and unsatisfied employees could be “handled” quietly, but now that everything is recording device and uploads can happen from nearly anywhere, one “off” comment, stiffed employee, or shady business decision can destroy a reputation. To an extent, this is scary since the anonymity of the Internet means that the accused are unable to face their accusers. In terms of moral righteousness, however, this is a fantastic development.
Business owners need to internalize the knowledge that if they deviate from the righteous path, they will be caught. It’s no longer a question of “if” but rather, of “when”? However scary that may seem, ultimately, it means that we will be living in a better world both as employers and employees. There is no way to get around the public discussion of your business, the only thing to do, as a business owner, is to try and be better. I used to run at a company that had a higher rate of satisfaction than Disney World, and it was one of the highlights of my career.
So while it may seem like Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Reddit make running a business more complicated, I would argue that it actually simplifies anything. With spotlights everywhere there is no longer any shade to hide in. The simple solution? Stay ethical, stay transparent, and you won’t have anything to worry about.