A professional code of ethics is a set of rules which define how those involved in a given industry or company should interact with clients and conduct business in general. Implementing a code of ethics has several disadvantages which may affect employee performance and a company's bottom-line sales.
A professional code of ethics restricts a businessman from going after maximum profit in favor of "what's best for the client." This may mean a businessman's sales figures under-perform for a given quarter because he's only selling people what they "need" versus what he can convince them they need. If the businessman works on a commission, not only is he returning smaller profits for his business but he's also taking home less money. According to SRA International, a professional code of ethics teaches an employee to put the client first and always be honest with him. In the competitive business world where results matter more than politeness, this strategy could cost someone a job.
A professional code of ethics requires you to invest your time in inefficient ways. Taking the time to establish good rapport with clients and other sales people takes time away from the business of making money. For example, while you're off somewhere at a charity golf event raising your presence in the community as an upstanding, ethical businessman, your competition is closing a deal and maneuvering you out of contention. Losing a big sale to more tenacious competition can severely damage your career.
Performance and Unattainable Goals
A professional code of ethics places value on treating all employees with respect as opposed to respecting performance. Implementing a professional code of ethics may cause employee production to slip as the focus is taken away from results and work standards, and turned toward creating a happy work environment. A code of ethics may also raise the public's expectations for company standards to unattainable levels, according to the business information website Goliath. This creates a more stressful workplace as employees struggle to maintain performance standards while learning a new rules set.
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