Is transparency, communication and caring in business a dead art? I certainly hope not. This week, an annual publication that we subscribed to for our company suddenly is no longer. We found out that because of low sales, the producers of the book decided to shut it down. However, no letter, post, article or even a press release was communicated to let the public know that this book would no longer be available. And, we’re talking about a publication that’s been around for many, many years.
It was more like a directory of sorts containing valuable information specifically for photographers. Okay, we were extremely disappointed but not just the fact that we will no longer be able to buy the book again but mainly the fact that we didn’t know the book would no longer be available after 2017, almost an entire year gone by and no communication.
Another case in point: I read somewhere that (I don’t remember what state this was in) the employees of a company showed up to work one morning to find the doors were locked shut and a note pinned up that said the company had closed down. What a way to start a day, right?! No warning at all to those workers. This is the lack of transparency, the lack of communication and the lack of caring I’m talking about.
Back in the days when I worked for companies, this wouldn’t happen. Now, granted there were times when a department was eliminated with very little notice that jobs were being eliminated, but we got a notice. I had never heard of a company shutting it doors down and not telling any of its employees beforehand. That’s just plain WRONG. Is it important to have integrity in business? Absolutely! The saying still goes, “the people you meet on the way up are the same people you meet on the way down.” Even the Bible tells us how to treat others (Luke 6:31, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 10:33, Philippians 2:3-4 and Titus 2:7-8).
My feeling is simple. I want to be trustworthy and at the end of the day, I want to be rehireable. That means that no matter who I work for, I want that person to always feel they can hire or re-hire me at any time and know exactly that they’re getting someone they can trust and rely upon to do the right thing. I want to have a clear conscience. And, I also believe that when you do good by others, you can always ask for help when needed without guilt or shame. It seems some have checked their consciences at the door these days but no matter, this world has a strange way of switching things around and I happen to think that it is either God’s doing or Him allowing to be done to let us know who we really are.
None of us are immune from ever needing someone’s help. We can be as independent as we want to be but at some point, all the money and power in the world can’t buy everything.
Integrity in business also gains more business which makes total sense. If I know that I can go to a craft business to buy art supplies that are produced with high quality materials at affordable prices and has excellent customer service, wouldn’t I recommend them in a heartbeat? Of course! I’d tell all my crafty friends to go to them bringing them more business that they didn’t have to advertise for. All they did was do a good job and it spoke for them. When you treat people right, they spread that around, in person, emails, phone and social media.
Most of us also forget God is watching us as well. I may not have a physical boss to answer to, but I have God and myself to answer to. My reputation as a business owner is important and being a Christian is even more important because I don’t want to appear as a hypocrite. If I say I believe in myself, for example, then I would conduct myself like I do. I wouldn’t give off mixed messages. So, if I say I believe in God and the Bible, then I should live like I do. He will always reward us when we do the right things putting Him first in our business and life. He hold integrity at the highest level and so should we.