In many cases, codes of conduct bring together ideas related to the business’s overall mission and core values with the daily behaviours and practices they desire from employees.
Leadership should create a code of conduct that lays out their expectations and lets the community know what ethical principles are most important to their success. A culture’s influence is usually reflected in its present state or the direction leadership is trying to take.
A code of conduct is closely related to a code of ethics, to the extent that these words are often used interchangeably.
Practice can vary from big picture ideas to specific rules when designing a code of conduct. For instance, a code of conduct policy can specify how employees should behave to reflect the organisation’s broader mission and provide fixed regulations for internal practices such as dressing codes or break times.
As a code of conduct, a company could emphasise communication policies and ethical attitudes to prevent conflict or harassment while emphasising consequences for poor behaviour that violates the code.
Below we have provided the core values of a workplace code of conduct.
Build Trust and Credibility
Distributing a code of conduct widely throughout your organisation is the first step in enforcing it. To know the organisation’s values and behave accordingly, it is necessary to know the code of conduct.
During onboarding, the employee handbook is a great way to spread the company’s code of conduct. Providing access to and clear explanations about the company’s code of conduct during orienting new employees is essential.
Trust and confidence from our employees and clients are essential to our business’s success. As a company, we earn credibility by upholding our commitments, acting with honesty and integrity, and achieving our goals exclusively through honourable conduct.
Before taking any action, the organisation should ask: Can this enhance trust and credibility? How can it foster a working environment conducive to the company’s success? Am I capable of following through with my commitments? By answering “yes” to these questions and proactively working to build trust and credibility every day, we will be able to maximise our trust and credibility.
Develop an open and honest communication culture
Providing employees with adequate means of reporting violations is essential for enforcing the code of conduct. Management should build a relationship with their staff based on trust and honesty so they feel comfortable discussing matters with them directly.
However, offering anonymous reporting channels will protect employees who report problems.
An employee who feels threatened and harassed or has an issue with a superior might fear retribution if they come forward. With anonymity, staff with knowledge of code violations can remain confidential, and enforcement can be strengthened.
Describes a clear hierarchal structure, employees’ roles
To achieve ethical standards, a code of ethics should be able to strike a balance between objectives and the methods used to attain them. An organisation’s code of ethics clarifies that employees cannot use ignorance to justify unethical behaviour. Employees are therefore held responsible for what they do. The public can quickly determine if a company serves the public interest by a documented set of ethical standards. In companies that operate transparently and above board, the public will trust the company, and the chances of an internal scandal or corruption will be reduced significantly.
The content of training programs ought to be updated regularly to reflect changes in the workplace and to be up-to-date with the policies, requirements, and developments significant to the organisation. As part of ethics training, organisations should also provide diversity and harassment/discrimination training and other topics that promote a respectful, inclusive work environment.
Level of professionalism
A well-written code of conduct promotes professionalism among all employees, making the company more efficient and improving its reputation. In addition, employees must be on time, dressed appropriately, and conduct themselves appropriately to maintain a professional image. When expectations are articulated and penalties for failing to meet those expectations, there is no room for misinterpretation. Through a teamwork training session focusing on the code of conduct, colleagues gain trust in one another. It is much easier to work together if one trusts and respects the other.
Employee education and training
Through code of conduct training, employees become aware of various ethical and legal issues in the workplace, including conflicts of interest, bribery and corruption, insider trading, securing data, diversity, and use of social media. It is practical to relate these topics to relatable situations to emphasise that rules and policies apply to all employees, whether they work onsite or remotely.
Training in a code of conduct policy creates an environment that allows people to speak up and feel safe and concerned about each other and the organisation. During ethics training, employees should learn how and where to report unethical or illegal behaviour and be reassured that reporting misconduct will not result in retaliation.
Protocol to deal with problems
To perform our jobs more objectively and fairly, we should avoid any relationships or activities that might affect or appear to affect our ability to make objective, fair decisions.
Occasionally, we may have to choose between the interests of the company and our personal or family interests due to business decisions we make. If the opportunity arises, we are obligated to promote the company’s legitimate interests. Our position with the company cannot allow us to use its property or information for personal gain or take advantage of any opportunities it offers.
After a violation has occurred, you must gather as much information from all parties involved to establish the facts, determine the severity of the problem, and respond appropriately. Check for any violations of the law and if other parties (police, attorneys, etc.) should be brought in.
It is imperative to enforce your code of conduct and respond to violations in a manner consistent with its values. Leadership must live up to the expectations set for employees; otherwise, the code of conduct is undermined, and morale is reduced. Always think of your response from the viewpoint of the broader workforce.
Nowadays, most companies and corporations have created their codes of conduct, which are expected to be followed by all employees and management. If your business does not have one, your employees can get a code of conduct training online from reliable electronic training programs. Here are some reasons why having a code of conduct is essential.
Training employees and managers in codes of conduct are crucial to promoting the organisation’s values, principles, and expectations for behaviour in today’s challenging work environment, being able to make the right decision when choices are not clear cut and being able to speak up when they see or suspect wrongdoing.
Beehive HRMS has been a favourable experience regarding usability and meeting the employee’s requirements; also, you can customize it according to your business needs. Contact Beehive, firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you update your business code of conduct with our HRMS software.