Establishing a strong code of ethics conduct

The company’s mission statement and general values statements, most of the time only defines the ground for an ethical behavior. Developing and establishing specific code of ethics and establishing it in the company as acceptable behaviors go a lot further.

Today every company has joined the race to establish a code of ethics conduct for its employees and external parties. A code that will in detail identify what are the daily actions and decisions any employee can take or will have to let go. These codes of ethics are not just meant to be on the paper or on the policies and procedures document. Today companies also take steps to ensure that the code of ethics is instilled in every one who is linked with them. Employee training on ethics has become a basic and a bare minimum necessity.

Establishing a code of ethics conduct will bring in the following :

  • It will build an occupational image
  • It will encourage current ethical attitudes and behavior in the company.
  • It will act as a measuring benchmark for employees to not only evaluate themselves but also the organization they work for.
  • It will build a solid foundation of expected and not expected behavior.

Every company that intends to establish a code of ethics conduct must divide it into two parts. The first one being General code of ethics: Common codes of ethics that the company wants everyone to follow. May be for the entire population

The second one would be specific code of ethics that would be for exceptional situations and levels. Case studies with detailed examples must be included in this section.

Some major areas that need to be addressed while establishing a series of ethics code are:

  • Data protection act: every employee who has access to confidential information must sign a bond of non — disclosure. A system must be made where these employees are proof tested against such acts.
  • Company over self: At the cross roads of life, most employees will face situations where they can personally benefit out of a situation. During those times they must remember that the company is always over self.
  • Un- acceptability of gifts: giving and receiving of gifts is always discouraged in the code of ethics conduct. However there can be some exceptions that must be documented.
  • Miss use of company’s resources and assets: A good ethical code of conduct must clearly state when and how much can an employee use the company’s asset. A good example to support this would be, misuse of the companies phone or cab facility for personal use.
  • Maintaining integrity: Every employee is expected to company to integrity. Forging of reimbursement bills only to earn a few dollars shows a dip of integrity.

The best practice of establishing a code of ethics is to create higher standards of guidelines, so that the likelihood of unethical behavior reduces to a large extent.

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