Developing a business code of ethics

A corporate scandal during the year 1980 gave birth to the creation & development of business code of conduct in the corporate world. Today corporate face a constant challenge of conforming to business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Thus it makes it imperative for the corporate to lay down strong fences of ethics.

Business code of ethics covers both the organization & the employees on all faces of ethical ground. A broad outline would be the value statement, compliance to employee benefit, labor employment and trade union and all other sorts of law groups. A traditional code of business ethic would cover corporate issues, industry standards.

Over the past few years the definition of the business code of ethics has expanded multifold. It now incorporates a wide range of guidelines and areas of business. Business ethics aims to address all legal compliances and relationship that the business has with the key players like Employees, Stakeholders, shareholders, customers, Business partners, Media, Market and not to forget the society.

Every company must develop a code of ethics pertaining to each player and industry, trading its tailored needs and requirements. The business code of ethics would largely depict the company’s core values. The business code of ethics must contain the following issues:

  • Responsibilities to the environment.
  • Righteous employment practices.
  • Measure to safety for employees.
  • Gratuity with bonus.
  • Accurate payroll
  • Record maintenance

It is the business code of ethics that would provide directions to the employee’s behavior and correct decision making. A business code of ethics has many benefits to a company:

  • It enhances the ethical judgment of the organization and all those who work for it.
  • Supports corrective decision making
  • Keep the company away from legal suits
  • Creates a brand image of the company in the market

A good business code of ethics ideally should address all levels of the company. It must be used as a reference book to teach ethical practices to all.

It is usually suggested that the companies must create and develop their code of ethics with the inputs suggested by the employee class as it would directly get a vote and support from them because of their agreement to it.

The next most important step to develop a business code of ethics is to only include ethics that can be practically enforced. The best practice is to include heterogeneous case studies, ethical model on decision making and history of cases where company ethics was violated.

If a business code of ethics is well understood by all levels of a company, it can create a synergy effect or unity within the company and all its branches across the globe. A good code of ethics will further communicate the right message to all parties involved with company to do business as it will purely talk about the company’s core value.

This way it will be easy for the company to create an image that they wish to in front of their employees, partners, stake holder, share holders, society and the countries law.

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