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Bridge Budapest: List of Acceptable Business Practices

Inside View

Recommendations from the Bridge Community of Business Leaders.

In the current situation, companies – employees, partners, clients, and leaders – are facing several critical impacts at the same time. For example inflation, increasing interest rates and financing costs, exchange rates at a historical peak, energy costs, rising wages, change of tax structure etc. These might have an impact to a different degree on the various actors of the same industry, depending on for example ownership, investment and return strategy, business policy, and business culture.

Therefore, during an economic recession, it is all the more important how these actors treat each other because the degree of interdependence also increased. Therefore, in the aftermath of the crisis caused by COVID and in the current uncertainty, the Acceptable Business Culture initiative of Bridge Budapest identified which Acceptable Business Practices can help the sustainable operation of companies.

Most of the previous seven points are the same, however, they were modified a bit and seven new points were added to them. The items on the list are recommendations that were put together by the members of the Bridge Community of Business Leaders.

The recommenders include companies like Billingo, Coca-Cola Hungary, Concorde MB Partners, Continental Group, Doktor24, Dr. Törös Judit Law Firm, Dreher Sörgyárak, Eisberg Hungary, Flawless Hungary, FoxPost, Gartner, Google Hungary, Intrum, JobGroup, MVÜK, PannonHitel, Praktiker, Roche Hungary, Share Now, Shiwaforce, Sigma Technology Hungary or Tranzit Group.

These companies provide work for nearly 40,000 people in Hungary, and their combined revenue was HUF 4.3 trillion in 2021.

The list of Acceptable Business Practices is not about being perfect but about a business effort whose firm believers have value-based and long-term plans.

THE LIST OF ACCEPTABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES:
  1. I WILL BE MORE EMPATHETIC towards the reactions of all my internal and external partners. I accept that this is an unusual and tense situation that we all see from a different perspective. Friendly attitude, empathy, and active listening during regular conversations are extremely important when supporting each other.
  2. I DO NOT CAUSE UNCERTAINTY I do not keep my business partners waiting unnecessarily for my decisions. If I know the straightforward answer, I will make no delays. A definite yes or no is better than unnecessary waiting.
  3. I PAY ATTENTION TO PAYMENT DISCIPLINE I pay on time as long as I can since, at the moment, the key to survival is to avoid a chain of debts. I accept several types of payment schemes. I respect the solvency of my qualified clients.
  4. I STICK TO OUR AGREEMENTS I fulfill my contracts and respect the prices included in them as long as our operation allows me to do so. I stand by my most important clients even in difficult situations and I choose another, cheaper supplier only if it is justified. Similarly, I raise my prices only when it is necessary and to an extent that is required by my increased costs. I look for alternative solutions in cooperation with the partners.
  5. I ACT PREDICTABLY IN RELATION TO MY EMPLOYEES’ WAGES It is important that they know and understand what our possibilities are. We keep up with the changes until we can.
  6. I COMPETE FAIRLY I do not distort the market, and I do not abuse my possible dominant position. In such turbulent situations, competitors can “price out” certain actors within a few weeks or months changing the market conditions to an unrealistic extent. This is acceptable as long as it is done in fair competition (better service, increased efficiency etc.). However, if it is the result of any abuse of the dominant position, it might harm the economy, the certain sectors not only in the short term but in the long term as well.
  7. I DO NOT MAKE DECISIONS IN THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT It is important to react quickly to sudden changes, however, in such a situation, it is equally important to make decisions with due consideration, based on data, in the interests of my own company and my own team, keeping long-term sustainability in my mind, too.
  8. I SHARE MY KNOWLEDGE I share my best practices with my suppliers in order to improve their efficiency, too, since we depend on each other. I communicate openly about our processes so we can recognize the necessary changes together and we can find further opportunities.
  9. I IMPROVE MY MENTAL STABILITY So I can provide stability and support for my colleagues reducing their anxiety. It is extremely important for leaders.
  10. I THINK LONG TERM EVEN MORE I make efforts to keep those partners and employees who have already proved and create value and to prepare for the aftermath of the economic recession. What drives me is to become stronger by the current situation.
  11. I PUT EMPHASIS ON SUSTAINABILITY Due to the energy crisis, now we have a chance to accelerate decarbonization, and it is worth taking advantage of it.
  12. I SET A GOOD EXAMPLE For my internal and external partners, too, so that the aspects of fair and ethical thinking and conduct can reach as many people as possible. This is particularly important in critical situations and during a crisis when negative impacts are much more powerful.
  13. I COMMUNICATE CLEARLY I regularly update my colleagues and external partners about our work. If I look for another supplier, I communicate it to my current partner clearly and in time and provide my reasons for doing so. I put even more emphasis on informing them about the background of more difficult decisions. Due to the constant and hectic changes our needs and opportunities might also change so I always clarify the frameworks, rules, exceptions, my skills, and my weaknesses as well.
  14. I KEEP ON SUPPORTING SOCIAL INITIATIVES I make efforts, as much as I can, to ensure that we can still provide support for social initiatives.
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