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How do you create and sustain an ethical culture in the workplace?

Marilynn Duker, president of Shelter Group on ethics:

Integrity and transparency have been hallmarks of The Shelter Group since the company was founded nearly 35 years ago. I was the first associate hired and can confidently say that we have never wavered in that commitment. We make business decisions that take into account far more than a bottom line. We look at how our actions will impact our associates, our residents and the greater community. Our goal has never been to get to a certain size, scale or financial target. Instead, we’ve always focused on building a great company for the long term and on ethical and transparent business practices. That means operating in an open, honest and transparent way that makes our associates, residents, families and investors proud. In the fall of 2015, we made a decision to sell a division of our company, in order to focus on other parts of our business. We shared this news with all of the affected associates as soon as we made the decision, a year and a half ahead of when the transaction was expected to be completed. While we knew this put us at risk of losing some of these associates, who we needed until the sale was complete, we simply felt that it was the right thing to do. We are so proud that morale has remained very high, we’ve retained over 99% of all of these associates and, in fact, they are some of the people who responded to the Baltimore Sun survey naming us a top workplace! We create beautiful communities. but our culture and service are lived out every day by the amazing people who work at The Shelter Group.

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