Why shouldn’t businesses promote ethical practices? I think most people would agree workers want fair wages, safe working conditions, health benefits, paid leave, etc. Now ask the question to yourself again but remember, we’re living in a free market economy. That’s where the debate lies: the definition and function of a free market economy. Many people believe the sole purpose of a business is to profit. I agree to a certain extent but there are also many people that think in a profit-at-all costs mindset. On the other hand, I believe corporate greed has gone out of control. Both years prior to the Great Depression and 2008 financial crash were peak years for income concentration. During the periods of economic boom, incomes gaps were almost nonexistent (source). I do not believe regulation of business practices and corporate social responsibility will bring an end to this issue. Instead, I think education on what creates a strong, profitable business will eventually change others’ beliefs. A course on business ethics is required in many university business programs, but the goal is not to just change company policies. The goal is for businesses to center their purpose on the greater good and to realize it’s in their best interests as well to keep their employees happy and satisfied.
Here is Fortune’s list of the 100 best companies to work for. In particular, SAS (software company located in Cary, NC) and Google, who modeled their company benefits after SAS, have been well praised for their company culture. A quick read through and hopefully you will realize that the employees that are best cared for naturally lift the company up higher and achieve greater results.