What is a code of conduct?
A code of conduct is a set of rules, ethics or values that guide people in daily practices and interactions with each other. In the workplace, a code of conduct may also be referred to as a code of business ethics. Some organizations expect their employees to adhere to a code of conduct with many requirements and rules, whereas others are extremely simple. Codes of conduct are most often included in the employee handbook and may also be posted on the company’s website for investors, potential employees and stakeholders to view.
I WAS not surprised to see the behaviour of Port Stephens Council mayor Bruce Mackenzie during the debate on the new strategy with implications for West Ward. Consequences for violating the Code of Conduct can include (but are not limited to): Loss of the ability to use in-game communication systems; Restrictions or additional requirements to access experiences such as Ranked queues; Restricted access to social systems and features in any of Riot’s games. A code of ethics also referred to as 'Ethical code', may encompass areas such as business ethics, a code of professional practice and an employee code of conduct. Various examples of the code of ethics are the compliance based code of ethics, value-based code of ethics, code of ethics among professionals etc.
Why is a code of conduct important?
Code of Conduct Silver Lyon Entertainers50 Things. Senior Center Documents. Website Manager; Title IX Coordinator; Section 504 Coordinator.
A code of conduct is important in the workplace because it provides employees with a concrete guide on how they are expected to act while on the job. It demonstrates a company’s values and what the company expects and strives for in terms of company culture.
Benefits of a code of conduct include that it:
- Provides a guideline for behavior and expectations within the workplace
- Ensures all employees are made aware of what is and isn’t tolerated at work
- Outlines a company’s values and principles
- Sets clear benchmarks as to how employee behavior and performance are measured
- Informs stakeholders, investors and potential employees of the company’s ethics and standards
How to draft a code of conduct
The following are steps you can follow when drafting a code of conduct for your organization:
- Determine who will be included in the creation of your company’s code of conduct
- Consider any ethical issues that have occurred in the past
- Create an outline
- Discuss the draft with stakeholders
- Compose the final draft
1. Determine who will be included in the creation of your company’s code of conduct
One of the first steps in drafting a code of conduct is determining who will be included in the process. Common individuals involved in developing a code of conduct include management, long-term employees and stakeholders. Many codes of conduct are created by upper management and then reviewed by a team of trusted employees as well as any stakeholders that may be affected by the code of conduct.
2. Consider any ethical issues that have occurred in the past
Before creating your code of conduct, consider ethical issues that your company has faced in the past. Be sure to include mention of how these will be avoided in your code of conduct. Additionally, you can also take into account ethical issues that similar businesses have faced and address these as a way to prevent them from occurring within your organization.
3. Create an outline
Determine the components you will include in your code of conduct. Elements to consider include:
- Conflicts of interest
- Asset protection
- Company policies
- Company culture
- Attendance expectations
- Sexual and general harassment and discrimination
- Cell phone and technology use while in the office
- Substance use
- Dress code
- Disciplinary actions that may be taken
- Equal opportunity
Once you have chosen the elements you will include, outline each section with the information you feel is most appropriate to your organization.
4. Discuss the draft with stakeholders
Once you have outlined the code of conduct, give everyone involved the opportunity to review and discuss its contents.
5. Compose the final draft
After all stakeholders have had the chance to contribute input, you can then compose the final draft of the code of conduct for review and publication.
Components of a code of conduct
Here is a list of elements you might include in your code of conduct:
- Mission statement and values
- Workplace policies and procedures
- Industry compliance and regulations
- Disciplinary actions
Mission statement and values
Begin with your company’s mission statement. If you are drafting values for your employees, ensure they stem from and support the mission statement. You can also include a statement on the ethics and professional standards your organization champions.
Workplace policies and procedures
Include a statement on the expectation that employees adhere to your policies and procedures. Policies can vary depending on your business and industry. Some examples of workplace policies include:
- Financial integrity and compliance (reporting, payroll, business travel, purchasing)
- Data privacy
- Communications (conduct on social media, emails)
- Client and business partner code of conduct
- Intellectual property and conflicts of interest
Industry compliance and regulations
Include a statement regarding your expectation that employees comply with industry and government laws and regulations.
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Include a statement on violations and disciplinary actions. This tells employees how to report violations of the code of conduct or business policies. It also provides a statement on disciplinary actions for employees who violate the code of conduct or policies. Disciplinary actions may include verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension and even termination.
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Code of conduct template
Below is a template you can use when drafting your own code of conduct:
[Page of contents: Many codes of conduct include a page of contents that list the topics discussed in the document as well as the page numbers on which each topic can be found.]
[Company policy and purpose of the code of conduct: This is a brief outline of the purpose of the code of conduct as well as the company policy regarding expectations surrounding the code of conduct.]
[Dress code: Use this section to clearly outline what is expected of employees in terms of dress code and grooming.]
[Technology use and security in the workplace: This section can include policies that pertain to cell phone use, internet usage, company email use and cybersecurity.]
[Relationships between employees: This section outlines expectations regarding relationships between employees including fraternization and romantic relationships. It may also indicate whether dating supervisors is allowed or not.]
[Expectations of company culture and behavior in the workplace: This section includes all expectations related to appropriate behavior at work and the organization’s ideal company culture. This may include punctuality, attendance, employee interactions and other behaviors that directly impact a company’s culture.]
[Harassment and discrimination: This section should clearly outline what is not allowed in the workplace in terms of harassment and discrimination, including discriminatory or sexually based jokes, actions and comments.]
[Disciplinary actions: This section should include the disciplinary actions your organization is prepared to take in the event that the code of conduct is violated.]