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Ethical Issues in the Construction Industry

Published September 26, 2019

In the construction industry, there are numerous issues that could be potential ethical hazards if not responded to properly or if the level of awareness is low. Some of the most common unethical conduct witnessed by contractors deals with “kick-backs” or bribes, double billing, bid cutting, lack of safety ethics, unfair treatment among many other issues.

Ethics is an extremely important aspect of conducting business. Being ethical helps set the tone for the relationships that we build as contractors. When unethical practices take place, these relationships begin to breakdown causing business and projects to suffer. It can also severely damage your business’ reputation and deter customers from using your services.

Unethical behavior can be contagious. If your top-level management is engaging in unethical practices, you can almost guarantee that other employees may be engaging in the same type of behavior. To prevent this from happening, your firm should start by vetting all new hires to gauge their morals and values, taking careful note of whether they match your company’s mission. You should also have a system of checks and balances in place to prevent any one employee from holding too much power or having too much influence. Having a way for employees to provide constructive feedback is also a good way to monitor company policies and prevent stagnant business practices.

Here at Chris-Tel, we believe that our firm’s commitment to ethical conduct helps to set us apart from our competitors. We believe first and foremost that doing the right thing in all circumstances regardless of profit or loss is the right way to do business. We have deliberately built a team that practices the same code of conduct and centers around integrity and a high standard of ethics. Our business has a solid rate of satisfaction as noted by testimonials, our repeat customer base, and the trust our clients have in our ability and transparency. We revere this trust immensely. It keeps our business going and maintains our integrity and reputation in the community.

We continually seek out information regarding business, ethics, employee rights and other related subject matter to keep our company informed by way of articles, seminars, SHRM, classes and gatherings that teach us how to communicate and relate to our staff and business partners in a manner that represents respect, good business and morality.

Regarding our clients/owners, we go by the philosophy of every client, every time, no exceptions, no excuses. This is in regards to answering emails, phone calls or text messages promptly and with respect to the client/colleague. We need to be completely transparent with our clients and ensure that the trust factor is apparent from the onset. We are very open book with our billings, bids and work scopes and our contracts are reviewed by in-house counsel to be sure the verbiage is fair and balanced for all parties involved.

The Vendors and Subcontractors we utilize on our projects are fully vetted prior to being offered any opportunity to bid our work. We have solid relationships and a history of working with many of our subs/vendors in Southwest Florida on a variety of projects. This prequalification process enables our firm to provide the best qualified subs for the project and the confidence to know they are licensed, reliable, insured and trustworthy with a standard of expectations similar to our own.