How Ethical & Honest People Save Companies Money
By: Steve Shallenberger
I just recently saw the Les Miserables movie and it got me thinking… We need a lot more Jean Valjean’s in the world today! Here’s why:
To help jog your memory, Jean Valjean—the main character—once lived a life of hopelessness and crime. On one occasion he found the home of a friendly Catholic Priest and stole some silverware from his home. The merciful Priest forgave Jean Valjean. The result?
This act of charity removed Jean Valjean’s chains of “hatred, mistrust, and anger.” He emerged as a man of great moral character. He adopted a new name, Monsieur Madeleine, and eventually became a highly respected city mayor.
Meanwhile, a police inspector became obsessed with locating and imprisoning the lost Jean Valjean. At one point, the inspector found and charged an innocent man believing him to be Jean Valjean. This is where Jean Valjean faced a critical decision. Should he let the innocent man go to jail or should he announce his true identity before the court and risk going back to jail himself? Talk about a hard choice! As you may know, Jean Valjean chose to reveal his identity and free the innocent man. He chose to do the right thing–the ethical, honest, and moral thing.
In my life, I’ve associated with many “Jean Valjeans”–people of ethical, honest, and moral behavior. I’ve also known far too many people that are the opposite–and it has cost me and them a lot of money.
Over the years, I’ve had employees steal gas using company gas cards to fill up their friends cars. I’ve had employees steal directly from company vaults. I’ve had employees lie and cheat. All have lost their jobs and struggled.
I’ve also had many more employees that are ethical and honest, like Jean Valjean. They have made our customers happy and loyal. These co-workers not only make work safe and fun, they build high levels of trust that make communication quicker and more effective. I’ve learned that ethical, honest, and moral people not only protect company assets, but they also increase productivity and the bottom line.
We need a lot more of these wonderful people in the world today–and you and I must be amongst them.