Business Code of Conduct
A strong code of conduct offers real value to a company. Developing and sustaining such a code occurs through a broad-based, managed process that includes attention to the organization’s mission, values and other key considerations. With a little foresight and focus, a company can develop a new code or enhance an existing code to reap the numerous benefits it can provide.
A corporate code of conduct serves as both the principal statement regarding the way that a company conducts its business and its ethics and compliance program’s chief communication. A code generally embodies the standards that a company sets itself and possibly other standards that others encourage it to adopt. Chief among these standards are the ethics and compliance risks that a company seeks to prevent, detect and mitigate, should a violation occur.
What a code of conduct should include…
The most common sections to include in a code of conduct are:
- ethical principles – includes workplace behaviour and respect for all people
- values – includes an honest, unbiased and unprejudiced work environment
- accountability – includes taking responsibility for your own actions, ensuring appropriate use of information, exercising diligence and duty of care obligations and avoiding conflicts of interest
- standard of conduct – includes complying with the job description, commitment to the organisation and proper computer, internet and email usage
- standard of practice – includes current policies and procedures and business operational manual
- disciplinary actions – includes complaints handling and specific penalties for any violation of the code.
You can customise the different sections in your code of conduct to match your business requirements and the rules and policies you set for your staff. Search the internet for samples and templates or use another organisation’s code of conduct as a guide.
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