Irrespective of the size of business, it is mandatory for every organization to have a code of conduct. The essence of the same is to help in providing behavioural regulations that employees need to follow to ensure that the values of the organization are reflected in its entire business dealings.
Traditionally, it’s only professional bodies that were known for having and implementing a code of conduct for their members to abide by. However, in recent times, businesses have also seen the need for instituting and adapting code of ethics to enable them in setting values and standards for appropriate behaviours, which corresponds to the values.
It is vital for a business to ensure that they develop a code of ethics tailored to match its values and dealings so that it may fit the needs of the company as well as its people. An ideal code of conduct constitutes many aspects depending on the ethical and principles that you would wish to use in governing the employees.
Code of ethics can help your organization :
1) Talking point
Developing and implementing a code of conduct are two different things. It would be pointless for an organization to come up with ideal ethical standards that cannot necessarily be enforced. The components of a good code of conduct only act in providing standards of what needs to be followed for upholding morals and better behaviour. Print, electronic and social media continues to expose a broad range of unethical behaviors in the corporate sector from time to time which necessitates the need for establishing ethical business conduct that spells out the values.
Some of the vital components that you must always include when developing a suitable code of conduct include the following;
2) Business Doctrines
This is also another essential constituent that an ideal ethical business conduct needs to have. Business tenets are primarily the principles, which are used in helping the organization in implementing its values by only including the particular operational doctrines that all employees are supposed to abide by.
Several business principles may be incorporated into the code of ethics, and some of them include implementation of ideal corporate responsibility programs, continuous improvement of the business dealings, customer support, and satisfaction as well as increased business profitability among others. Principles are helpful especially when it comes to ensuring that the employees have to make the image of the organization worthwhile when dealing with different people.
These are what define the company regarding the manner in which it performs on a day to day basis in regards to its interaction with all the stakeholders including employees, investors, customers and suppliers among others. Values are essential, and it is ideal that they defined vividly and made it open that the organization is solely about practising honesty and fairness in all its dealings.
The other significant value that needs to be communicated clearly in the code of conduct is about respect in all the dealings notwithstanding the prevailing circumstances.
4) Support from the management
The manner in which management needs to provide support to the organization can also be included in the code of ethics. Of importance is to ensure that there is a system that allows for a report of the violation of the stipulated standards as well as the processes that need to be undertaken in punishing such violations. It is the role of management to ensure that all employees enforce the ethics business conduct within the organization and any culpable individual is castigated accordingly.
In some organizations, the management expresses seriousness of enforcing the code of conduct by ensuring that they append their signatures in such documents. And to make sure that every employee is aware of the gravity of the management towards implementation of the ethical business conduct, the documents are often placed in noticeable areas such as break room to enable employees who frequent the room to see the documents on a regular basis.
5) Employee obligation
When developing ethics business conduct in the organization, it is essential to ensure that you include statements, which indicate that each employee should have the responsibility of upholding the code of conduct. It should be necessary be in the form of threats but in a manner that provides a guiding principle in regards to the legal and moral consequences if any of the employees violates the code.
Normally, the call for reporting the particular employees who violate the code of conduct is typically one of the components that need to be included in the code. The essence of this is to primarily help in not only adhering to the code of conduct itself at a personal level but also ensuring that all employees express support to the ethics business code by reporting their colleagues who go against it.
It is also an important element that an ideal code of ethics needs to have. There are several instances in the past where employees had to provide falsified information to the customers, investors and other stakeholders for the sake of creating an impression. It should be realized that such acts which are against the code of conduct need to be punished by the law and action taken to the culprits.
What this essentially means is that once ethical standards have been put in place in business; there is the need for ensuring that they are followed to the latter. Adjusting the penal codes to favour a particular case or individual is an act of transgression that should never be tolerated at all. All the same, ensuring that the relevant individuals take punitive actions in accordance with the code is the only way of making it effective and successful in the long run.
What matters when developing a code of conduct is ensuring that everyone adheres to it and takes personal responsibility in ensuring that every aspect of the game becomes a success. It would be pointless to have such a document circulated and pinned in various spots within the organization, but little or nothing happens if a violation of any of the penal code takes place.