Ethics Improve Bottom Line: CUNA Mutual
A strong, ethical culture can go far in driving business performance and improving the bottom line at credit unions.
This, according to Steve Koslow, senior vice president, chief ethics and compliance officer, at CUNA Mutual Group, who spoke at the CUNA Human Resources and Training and Development Council Conference Monday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“Research over the past 10 years shows a positive correlation between business performance and companies with high integrity,” Koslow said.
A study conducted by the Compliance & Ethics Leadership Council showed a strong connection between the health of corporate culture and total shareholder return, according to CUNA Mutual.
“This relationship suggests the expanding influence and impact of culture over the long term. While a healthy culture can drive stronger business performance, a weak ethics culture could hinder business performance,” Koslow said.
He added, “As consumers become more aware of this positive relationship between company integrity and shareholder return, you can expect their investment dollars will gravitate to more ethical companies.”
Koslow said an ethical culture also increases loyalty with employees, customers and vendors and helps keep employees more engaged and aligned with company values, which can increase productivity.
Citing data from corporate regulatory and culture consultant LRN and public relations firm Edelman, Koslow said a strong ethics program can help credit unions:
- Attract top talent. Ninety-four percent of employees surveyed by LRN stated it is critical or important that the company they work for is ethical.
- Retain good, engaged employees According to LRN, 36% of employees left a job because they disagreed with the company’s ethical standards for doing business.
- Create a positive reputation. This attracts loyal customers and better suppliers Eighty-five percent of customers surveyed in Edelman’s Trust Barometer indicated they will go out of their way to buy from a company they trust.