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Balancing Ethics and Profits: How Businesses Treat Employees, Suppliers and Customers

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

In today's highly competitive business environment, the balance between ethics and profits has become a crucial factor in determining how businesses operate and interact with their stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, and employees. While profits are essential for the survival and growth of any business, ethical behaviour is equally important in establishing a positive reputation, building trust with stakeholders, and contributing to the long-term success of the organisation. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between ethics and profits in business and how they impact the treatment of suppliers, customers, and employees.

Learn more by watching the video and reading the blog post below:


When businesses prioritise profits, they may prioritise cost-cutting measures to maximise profits, which may result in employee layoffs or reduced wages. This can negatively impact employee morale and productivity. Additionally, a focus on profits may lead to the exploitation of employees, such as excessive working hours or inadequate compensation.

In contrast, businesses that prioritise ethics recognise that employees are their most valuable asset. They invest in employee development and provide competitive wages and benefits. They prioritise a healthy work-life balance, promote diversity and inclusivity, and ensure safe working conditions. Such businesses are likely to enjoy high levels of employee loyalty and productivity, leading to increased profitability.


Profit-driven businesses may prioritise suppliers who offer the lowest prices, which may lead to the exploitation of suppliers in developing countries who may be unable to negotiate fair prices for their products. This may also result in lower quality products or unethical manufacturing practices, such as the use of child labour.

Ethical businesses prioritise fair trade practices and sustainability, ensuring that suppliers are paid fairly for their products and work under safe and ethical conditions. They prioritise local sourcing, minimising environmental impacts, and using sustainable packaging. This approach helps to build a strong supply chain, leading to high-quality products and customer satisfaction.


Profit-driven businesses may focus on short-term gains over long-term customer satisfaction. This may lead to the use of aggressive marketing tactics, unethical business practices, and low-quality products or services. Customers may feel exploited, leading to a loss of trust and loyalty.

In contrast, ethical businesses try to focus on customer satisfaction and retention. They try to ensure they lead with transparency, honesty, and fairness in their business practices. They invest in high-quality products and services that meet customer needs, and prioritise customer feedback and engagement to continuously improve their offerings. Such businesses enjoy high levels of customer loyalty, leading to increased profitability in the long run.

In summary, businesses that focus on profits over ethics may achieve short-term gains, but this approach often leads to long-term negative impacts on employees, suppliers, and customers. In contrast, businesses that prioritise ethics enjoy sustainable profitability, as they prioritise fair trade practices, sustainable sourcing, employee welfare, and customer satisfaction. By balancing profits and ethics, businesses can build a strong brand reputation, foster customer loyalty, and build a sustainable business model.

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