Glaziers Speak Out: About Their Code of Ethics
There has been a dramatic increase in the ethical expectations
of businesses and professions over the past ten years. Increasingly,
customers, clients and employees deliberately seek out those who
define the basic ground rules of their operations. Written or unwritten,
a "code of ethics" helps establish a framework for professional
behavior and responsibilities, define acceptable and unacceptable
behaviors, promote high standards of practice, provide a benchmark
for companies or individuals to use for evaluation and can be used
as a vehicle for occupational identity.
Established business ethics and practices appear to be an integral
part of some professionals in the industry today.
"Creating a written mission statement, business plan and code
of ethics were completed long before we opened our doors a year
ago," says Jim Boutin, vice president and general manager of
the Longmont-based Colorado State Glass and Mirror Company. "As
a new entity in a highly competitive market, we needed to be sure
we were all on the same page from day one on how we would operate
the business, build our customer base, conduct ourselves and clearly
handle issues that come our way. With partners, we knew we needed
standardized guidelines for behavior and manage our day-to-day business
operations to ensure consistency when dealing with customers. It's
made a difference in helping us to build solid relationships and
bring in repeat customers."
Rogers Aluminum & Glass in Jamestown, Ky., has had a code of
ethics for several years. "We're a family-owned and operated
commercial glazier and we are very interested in the way our employees
perform their jobs and represent our company," explains Sally
Barnett, who has been the company's bookkeeper for 26 years. "The
company has been in existence for 50 years and developed a written
code of ethics as a guideline to help employees provide courteous,
professional and consistent service."
United Glass & Mirror in Norwich, Conn., just recently incorporated
a written code of ethics into its safety manual. Founded in 1985,
a small, family-owned and operated commercial glazier serving the
tri-state area of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the
company has always worked by the highest of standards. "While
we were updating our safety manual, we noticed that a number of
other companies had their code of ethics written and included in
their manuals," recalls Robin Coak, who compiled the newest
version of the company's safety manual. "We thought this made
good sense and that we should put our ethics guidelines in writing
and incorporate them into our safety manual as well."
Dave Norman from Dave Norman Glass, a glazing contractor serving
the greater Portland-Vancouver area, has always operated by a set
code of ethics. "These codes are the basis of our business,"
he explains from his shop in Clackamas, Ore. "Here, we operate
from an unwritten code that guides us in our dealings with suppliers
and customers and is based on our experience and philosophy. It's
pretty simple. We conduct business with honesty and integrity and
believe in treating people fairly. With that said, we expect to
be treated likewise. It's worked well for us for more than 20 years."
Like Norman, Dave Hardy, president of Roaring Fork Glass in Glenwood
Springs, Colo., also conducts business by an unwritten code. "We
are a small family-owned glazing contractor serving high-end clientele
in the Aspen and Snow Mass area. We operate from a personal code
based on strong moral and work values. We have high expectations,
hold ourselves to high standards and apply the Golden Rule, 'treat
others as you would like to be treated,' everyday."
What do you think? Does the contract glazing industry act ethically?
Where are the problem areas?
HERE to tell us what you think.