I felt I had to write to express my sympathy with Mark Howard for the
gruelling experience he went through in court in the name of integrity
(Money Marketing, April 6).
Time and time again, the maggot from the bad apple in the crop crawls out
to damage the company which has worked hard at its image, has projected the
caring customer focus expected and set up all the right processes and
procedures to ensure compliance. Why then does this bad apple still exist?
And can we do more to prevent it appearing in the premium crop?
One solution is to make the bad apple feel extremely uncomfortable in
his/her environment and to make it difficult to operate other than in the
most ethical fashion.
Companies need to be viewed as “safe” by their customers and therefore
must develop, enhance and maintain a first-class reputation. Best-practice,
leading-edge companies must have the working and operating environment to
ensure that their reputations will not be tarnished by things which can be
New legislation, in the form of the whistleblowing provisions of the
Public Order Disclosure Act, gives greater protection to employees who
raise a concern regarding something intrinsically awry in a company. To
avoid the unscrupulous mischief-making employee from creating havoc, a
company would be much better positioned if it had an internal programme
which flushed out problem areas, weaknesses, broken processes or lack of
A full and trusted internal programme enabling a company to control these
issues would avoid negative publicity or at least minimise it, avoid two
days' interrogation in court justifying its actions and will actually
enhance its reputation by being seen to be proactive to applying
The 99.9 per cent of prime-crop apples will understand that they are
working for an honest, caring and ethical company. This will enhance hiring
and retention policies. Economic value of the company is maximised and
customers feel safe.