Every successful business incorporates ethics into its decision making. Here’s how your organization can apply the universal standards of right or wrong into daily operations.

Develop an ethics policy for the workplace. An ethics policy should be top-of-mind for your employees and provide a standard against which they and others can assess behavior.

Act with transparency and honesty. Whether dealing with customers, vendors or employees, be honest and forthright. Misleading or deceitful behavior will undermine respect, trust and long-term success.

Keep promises. By fulfilling commitments, you demonstrate you are trustworthy. When you deliver what you’ve spoken or written, your customers will not only come back for more, they will spread the word.

Show loyalty and fairness. By displaying loyalty, you place high value on protecting your employees and customers. Being fair and just underscores you are open-minded and willing to change a position or belief. By admitting and accepting responsibility for any mistakes — without hesitation — you’ll win customers and employees for life.

Lead by example. If you demonstrate ethical behavior, your employees will too. Your actions and words will be noticed by stakeholders and anyone who interacts with your organization.

Angie Barnett is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. She can be reached at 410-347-3990 and [email protected].