For example, one aspect is the way that a company operates internally to promote and support ethical behavior within the company. Another would be the way that the company is able to approach day to day life outside of the company, or the way that they are able to impact the world around them in a positive way. By examining my organization, The Home Depot, in light of the different ways that they provide for these particular ethical behaviors, a potent view of how to businesses should behave in the market can emerge.
One consideration of the overall ethical behaviors of a business that must be considered when examining a corporation is the way in which they work internally to embrace a sense of confidentiality as well as promoting diversity. There have been many ways that The Home Depot has sought to connect its work with various cultures around the world. One of the ways that they embrace the overall sense of diversity throughout the corporate structure and in the stores is through partnering themselves with “diversity partners” all of which are dedicated to providing vital information, signs, and topics for promoting internal diversity in the company. Among these diversity partners are the Human Rights Campaign, 100 Black men of Atlanta, and the National Urban League, with more joining each year (The Home Depot, 2015). Each one of these partnerships also grants the company resources through which to educate the mangers and associates about cultures, both to provide better business practices for workers and to keep a strong level of customer service. These appear in the form of posters and literature that are available during months of the year, such as February for Black History Month.
Another aspect of the internal ethical behavior is geared towards working to make sure that all of the different communications within the company are safeguarded. In other words, this involves making sure that there are no leaks of proprietary information that can be used by the competition. One of the ways that Home Depot has sought to make this possible is to ensure that the vast majority of professional correspondence happens through channels that have built in safeguards against external threats. This stores all company emails on a secure server and maintains restricted internet access on the in-store computers so that they are used primarily for work-related business. In fact, Home Depot as hired Empower Software Solutions to make the necessary upgrades to keep the business safe while simultaneously improving the software capabilities of the business ( The Home Depot’s Workforce, 2010). This ensures ethical behaviors are maintained and that proprietary information is not at risk as a result.
Another area that is important to look at in terms of The Home Depot’s ongoing dedication to ethical behavior is looking at the external ethical behaviors that are exhibited by the company. One of the most famous ways that the company has garnered a sense of public ethical behavior is through the process of taking an active role in their local communities. In particular, they have managed to create a system where they work in disadvantaged areas to build or refurbish playgrounds for those who could not afford to do so. According to Home Depot, by 2009, they had already built or renovated over one thousand different playgrounds in partnership with the company Kaboom! (The Home Depot and Kaboom!, 2009). Not only does this provide a great way for families to come together, but it has allowed The Home Depot to express an active form of ethical behavior by caring for the communities in which many of their workers live and play. Aside from the ethical considerations of the playground builds, there are various other ways in which The Home Depot has helped local communities, such as shipping generators to areas in need and collecting money from associates to be presented to individuals in dire needs. For example, after the Joplin, MO tornadoes that leveled the town, the company donated a million dollars to help rebuild the town (The Home Depot Foundation, 2012).
This history of charitable giving and reaching out to the community is significant in terms of what it means to be an ethical company that is acting responsibly in the areas in which they work. No matter how ethically responsible a company may be, there are always different means in which they can improve the internal and external ethical behaviors so that they can get better outcomes.
There are many great things about The Home Depot internal communications that makes them a successful and well-rounded company. However, one way that they could improve their internal dialogue would be to actively train their associates in the different cultural norms of cultures that are familiar, or even unfamiliar, to the store. There are many times when disabled customers are present in the building and there are few avenues through which to offer them assistance. For example, customers with special needs is a topic that should be addressed in all modern work spaces so that the workers can effectively communicate to ascertain their needs and desires to effectively help them. This training could be developed and presented by one of the many partner companies that they have worked with in establishing an ethical and culturally sensitive base, such as The Human Rights Campaign. After all, education is the key to understanding, and understanding is crucial to remaining ethically responsible.
One of the ways that The Home Depot would be able to increase its level of external communications that would help boost their public perception as a socially responsible company would be to establish a webpage that show pictures and stories about the progress that they have made. Every store has an area within it that is dedicated to showcasing the latest successes that the store has been met with in terms of their social construction abilities. However, many of these pictures simply stay on the wall, are taken down, and then forgotten about. A public awareness campaign could be designed and integrated into social media to show how they have built playgrounds, donated money, and done a wide variety of other responsible actions that have helped their community. Having frequent updates on a page and even establishing different goals for the company to meet would be an important aspect of this awareness campaign to show the good work that they have done.
All things considered, The Home Depot has taken a stance on being a socially responsible company both through internal work and external work. They have focused on maintaining security for their workers so that they never have to fear about personal information leaks or even proprietary information leaks, or have at least built a powerful defense against it. Still, through continually updating their methods and means, The Home Depot can become more ethically sound to their communities.
The Home Depot. (2015). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://careers.homedepot.com/our-
culture/diversity.htmlThe Home Depot Foundation Completes $1 Million Investment in Joplin Recovery Fund. (2012). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://www.homedepotfoundation.org/page/the-home- depot-foundation-completes-1-million-investment-in-joplin-recovery-fund
The Home Depot and KaBOOM! Celebrate 1,000th Playspace. (2009, March 3). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://kaboom.org/blog/home_depot_and_kaboom_celebrate _1000th_playspace
The Home Depot’s Workforce Management Remodel. (2010). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://www.empowersoftware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/The- Home-Depot.pdf