Best Buy a Best at Business Ethics
Ethics Management System
A recent article by the Ethisphere Institute named 99 companies as the worlds most ethical. The company has been around for four years and implements a number of criteria in order for companies to show up on the list. The Ethisphere Institute measures the companies: corporate governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility; innovation that contributes to the public well being; executive leadership and tone from the top; industry leadership; legal, regulatory and reputation track record; and their internal systems and ethics program.
We chose Best Buy as our “Best Business” in corporate ethics management for many reasons. Best Buy has shown up twice now on Ethisphere’s list of top ethical companies. In order to evaluate Best Buy according to Ethisphere’s seven criteria, Best Buy had to submit an application, fill out an in-depth survey questionnaire, supply documentation and other materials for Ethisphere, as well as be subject to data analysis from Ethisphere. At the end of this process, Ethisphere gave all of the companies what they call an “EQ” score or Ethics Quotient. Only the companies that ranked above a set score standard made the list.
According to Ethispheres rankings, we can now show an evaluation of some top ethics priorities of companies such as Best Buy. This ranking shows that Best Buy has a positive legal history. They also have a good internal control system including an Chief Ethics Officer, Code of Conduct, and prevention and detection controls. Best Buy’s innovative products and services also contribute to a positive public well-being as we can see with their “green” policies and attitude on conservation.
Along with a number of other positives, Best Buy has helped in setting industry standards and has a visible executive leadership dedicated to ethics. We can see this through the ethics positions and programs they have implemented in their company. This excerpt has exemplified Best Buy’s current Ethics Management System. The following will provide information as to how Best Buy is using this system to control, protect, and develop the companies integrity.
Best Buy has been recognized as a company that values their ethics system as one of the most important aspects of their company. They continue to improve on the way they handle ethical issues and constantly devise plans for dealing with issues before they become a hazard to the company. Best Buy has realized that have good ethics management systems in place can save them large amounts of money and extinguish small problems before they turn into huge expenditures. One way that they have been so successful at doing this is by controlling their stakeholder’s integrity in everyday business activities.
It is clearly outlined in their Code of Business Ethics, every stakeholder has their own interaction with the company, and Best Buy does a great job of tailoring its Ethics Management System to control every member up and down the stakeholder spectrum. Controlling integrity for Best Buy starts with the relationship between the customer and the employee and the idea that trust should be at the core of the interaction. Best Buy explains that the obligation of the employee is to: treat all customers fairly and honestly, communicate in a respectful and helpful manner, provide prompt and accurate customer service (Best Buy 20).
At the heart of controlling ethics is the skill of communication. If the members of a company aren’t sure of what is expected of them then they tend to no comply directly with what the company is trying to accomplish. It is essential for a company with a good Ethics Management System to communicate up and down the stream to inform and manage all aspects of ethics. Best Buy has excelled in making sure their values and goals are communicated to their employees, and they also have a great system for employees to offer feedback and report ethics flaws back to the managers of the company (Best Buy 9-13).
Finally, in order for Best Buy to stay recognized as the best ethics managers and to control the business in the future they need accountability throughout the organization. It is imperative for a company like Best Buy to hold their employee’s to standards and rules so they can control the integrity within the business. The control can easily be seen by the last page of the Code of Business Ethics for Best Buy; where they require every employee and manager to sign a personal commitment that they have read, understand, and are going to comply with every part of Best Buy’s Ethics System (Best Buy 50). In order to lead your industry managing proper business ethics it is vital to have a good control mechanism within your Ethics Management System to ensure good integrity practices.
Best Buy, like most large corporations, invests a lot of time and money in protecting their image and integrity. Their duty to employees and customers involves incorporating a check and balance system for the purpose of eliminating activities that could tarnish their reputation. The tool utilized for protecting their integrity is their “Business Code of Ethics”.
By stating these topics in their code of ethics, Best Buy is accepting responsibility for the activities involved in managing these topics ethically. Through their code of ethics, Best Buy is essentially creating a corporate culture based off of ethical management. With the rules set out before their company requiring all stakeholders to comply, they are taking huge steps in protecting their integrity and reputation within the corporate world.
The devopment of managerial ethics with Best Buy started by creating their own Ethics program. This involved hiring ethics officers to oversee the implementation of their code of ethics. Best Buy has developed their code of ethics in two ways: one, by requiring all employees to sign a compliance form stating they understand and agree to abide by the code of ethics; and two, by using social media to keep employees refreshed on Best Buys code of ethics and current programs in progress to continually develp Best Buys code of ethics.
According to the site, Compliance Building, using social media to keep your employees informed of your ethics policies is a rising trend. They pay particular attention to the new and upcoming workforce. They state that Generation Y has grown up with social media and is going to be in control of its future. Because of the fact that they have used it throughout their lifetime, there is good evidence that social media is going to be around for a long time. By using social media to inform your workforce of company ethics, companies are increasing their employee reach and keeping all stakeholders updated on current ethics activities.
Best Buy is benefiting from using this source to develop their business ethics program. We can see by the award they have received from Ethisphere that Best Buys ethics program is successful. If they continue to keep their ethics management activities in the spotlight with employees, they are going to be more likely to have increased compliance and awareness essentially leading to a more ethically managed company.
- Groehler, Kelly. “Ethisphere names Best Buy to 2010 list of “World’s Most Ethical Companies””. Best Buy. March 27, 2010 http://www.bby.com/2010/03/24/ethisphere-names-best-buy-to-2010-list-of-worlds-most-ethical-companies/.
- Ethisphere, “2010 World’s Most Ethical Companies”. Ethisphere Magazine. March 27, 2010 http://ethisphere.com/wme2010/.
- Best Buy, “Best Buy Code of Business Ethics”. http://www.docstoc.com. March 30, 2010 http://www.docstoc.com/docs/7511962/Best-Buy-code-of-business-ethics/.
- Project, T. (2010). Best Buy: Code of Business Ethics. Retrieved Mar. 28, 2010, from Best Buy, Richfield, Minnesota. Web site: http://www.bby.com/cmn/files/BBY_Code_of_Business_Ethics_080121.pdf.
- Cornelious, Doug. “Social Media and Your Compliance Program”. Compliance Building. March 30, 2010 <http://www.compliancebuilding.com/2009/06/18/social-media-and-your-compliance-program/>.