Whether your business consists of three, thirty or three hundred employees, the Code of Ethics may prove necessary to maintain a professional and productive working environment and has its application from employees at the lowest levels to executives top level. Note, however, that this code is most effective when communicating company values transparently.
When creating a Code of Ethics for your company it is worth considering 7 elements:
An effective code provides access to a company's culture, is a value-based tool and should present them. A code focused on company culture should offer employees the guidance and support they need when addressing workplace dilemmas, for example, and ensure that processes such as acquiring new employees are carried out in line with ethical principles.
Measures against discrimination
It is worth the company's Code of Ethics to include regulations against discrimination, prejudice, racism or harassment. As an employer, you should abide by penalties if such acts are committed.
Cleanliness and personal hygiene
In the era of COVID-19, the issue of personal hygiene proved extremely important. Ensuring cleanliness and personal hygiene is necessary not only in terms of health, but also due to respect for colleagues.
An element of the Code of Ethics may not only be an explanation of what behaviors are prohibited, but also an explanation of the mechanisms of accountability that are triggered in the event of a violation of the code by employees. This could include corrective actions such as mandatory training, written warnings or temporary suspensions.
It is also worth remembering that while holding employees accountable for breaking the Code of Ethics is essential to maintaining a healthy company culture, rewarding team members for strengthening this culture is a great way to develop it in line with the Code of Ethics.
Commitment to the development of the environment
It is important to include environmental sustainability in the Code of Ethics. According to experts, companies should adhere to green values and engage in environmental development and treat it as a top priority. That could include actions to cut plastic packaging, ban the use of disposable coffee cups or the introduction of a hybrid work system — a pandemic has taught us all that working from home is possible, and the practice is sure to reduce the carbon footprint.
The Code of Ethics should include issues relating to social justice and issues defining penalties for those who have been proven to disregard that ethics. This element of the Code of Ethics is particularly important to the customer service industry. Customers, regardless of their status or financial position, are entitled to fair service.
Protecting sensitive data
Your Code of Ethics should contain information that all data must be protected and cannot be shared outside the company. Remember that all data can be sensitive and in the wrong hands — dangerous.