Small business owners are frequently caught in the cross fire – profitability vis-à-vis social responsibility. There are areas that require close monitoring from the point of view of perfect balancing of the two, especially when the two are at loggerheads.
Consider this – one of my clients was facing a huge dilemma when he had to decide between installing effluent waste treatment plant, which was not legally required and saving huge cache of money by not installing it. Another problem – one of my other clients had a typical one – her only employee (a temp actually) had to go on maternity leave for four months time. My client had two options – to let her go on leave and look for a replacement. Another possible solution was to replace her instantly (permanently) with some one else.
Luckily, wisdom prevailed in both the cases – both the clients of mine did, what was correct ethically. First one went ahead and installed the plant after bank loan. Second one went for another temp for four months, and replaced her with the original employee after four months, and in fact added few amenities in the office place itself so that the new mother could take care of the baby at the work place only.
Both of these clients are now much larger in business operations sizes than they were earlier. One was helped by the village community to expand his factory operations, and second one became one of the most popular employers thereby could attract better quality manpower at lower rates. Ethics pays.