BBB celebrates good business role models with the Integrity Awards

Customarily in this space you find warnings about bad behavior by some in the business community, and many on the fringes of it.

Scams, swindles and other examples of dishonesty are often outlined here along with solutions and ways of dealing with those whose deviousness tarnishes all in the business community.

Now comes that time of year when the Better Business Bureau instead spotlights those who value honesty and act accordingly. The BBB’s Integrity Awards are an opportunity to celebrate businesses that act respectfully and in a trustworthy fashion in their dealings with the public.

On Thursday, the BBB hosts its annual Integrity Awards Luncheon at Hyatt Regency Wichita. The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. This year’s event is highlighted by a speech from Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins.

Additional information and registration can be found at bbbinc.org.

Emphasizing integrity

While it may seem obvious to some, there are still those in the business community who could use a reminder now and then regarding the importance of integrity.

A business’ relationship with its customers, at the most basic level, is built on trust. Few of us, after all, care to have transactions with those we think could be dishonest.

When a consumer considers whether integrity is present or absent, they are making a decision as to whether they can put their trust into that business.

Reputation is a key component of the consumer’s evaluation of any business. A company with a high reputation will draw more business. A low reputation makes it difficult for the company to gain and retain both customers and workers. Success can be attained or lost based on that reputation.

Is integrity there? A good reputation will follow. More customers will be the result of that good reputation.

That is a simple formula for increasing business.

A great side effect

It isn’t just the business itself that benefits from increased integrity.

Pressure is exerted on other businesses to follow suit when a high level of integrity is demonstrated by some of them. So both consumers and businesses see a positive effect from honest and ethical business practices, and the overall marketplace integrity that those practices lead to.

The advancement of marketplace trust is, in fact, the mission of the Better Business Bureau. Accordingly, this is done by:

▪ Setting standards for marketplace trust

▪  Encouraging and supporting best practices by engaging with and educating both consumers and businesses

▪ Celebrating marketplace role models

▪ Calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behavior

▪ Creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities

The Integrity Awards on Thursday are an opportunity to celebrate businesses that incorporate the high standards of integrity that our area’s marketplace deserves.

Denise Groene is the state director of the Better Business Bureau of Kansas. Contact the bureau at 800-856-2417 or bbbinc.org.