What is a code of conduct: how to create one and in what situations to apply?

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What is a code of conduct: how to create one and in what situations to apply?

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In times when ethics has been increasingly discussed in all spheres of society, creating a code of conduct has become even more important for organizations. Adapting internal procedures in the name of fairness and good practices is essential to maintain a good image in the eyes of public opinion and the market in general. But, after all, what is code of conduct?

How to develop a code of conduct?

What are its impacts on the day-to-day of the company?

To answer these questions, in this article we explain everything you need to know about the subject. Want to know more? Check it out below!

What is a code of conduct?

Code of conduct, also known as code of ethics, is a set of rules that defines values ​​and guides the actions of employees of an organization.

By establishing these standards, the company assumes its own market ethical social and environmental responsibilities.

The rules must be observed by all employees, collaborators and service providers of the company.

Thus, a behavior pattern is established that explains the company's attitude towards all its stakeholders.

What is a code of conduct consists of a a tool for disseminating the company's philosophy, mission and values, which facilitates the understanding and practice of organizational culture.

It is important that, when hiring new employees, HR presents the rules and emphasizes their relevance to the organization.

The code of conduct must also be constantly reinforced and disseminated so that it is, in fact, put into practice, avoiding ethical problems within the company.

How to create a company code of conduct?

As it is a matter of great importance for the company, the creation of the code of conduct requires great care on the part of HR and the leaders. See below for the ideal step by step to design these standards.

1. Create a committee

Generally, the code of conduct is determined by the company's top management.

Although it can be defined in strategic planning meetings, the ideal is to create a special committee for this matter.

The group should bring together the company's CEO, key executives from all sectors and key HR and legal professionals. After the approval of the rules, this committee has a continuous role in the monitoring and evaluation of situations of misconduct.

2. Present the content

The content of the code of conduct must be presented in a clear and objective manner, with short and explanatory sentences. It is essential that it is reviewed by a lawyer to assess its legality.

The ethics of all work relationships must be described in the code of conduct, each with its own relevance for the company. Therefore, it is necessary to include the following interlocutions:

  • with other employees;
  • with superiors;
  • with the clients;
  • with suppliers;
  • with shareholders;
  • with candidates in selection processes;
  • with communities;
  • with the media;
  • with the government;
  • with inspection;
  • with the environment.

3. Discuss the content

The code of conduct cannot be implemented without prior discussion of its content. Each topic should be analyzed by all members of the committee in a frank debate, so that there are no flaws or vagueness.

If the company is large, it is important to have a consulting firm to mediate meetings, accelerating and directing conversations between committee members.

4. Publish and disseminate

After all these steps on how to create a company code of conduct, it is time to publish the document. Today, with all the technology available, it is possible to make the document available on the company's intranet, so that everyone has access.

For the purpose of any penalties for misconduct, HR must have some proof that all employees have read and are in accordance with the code. To ensure this, it is easy to: just add a confirmation button to the publication that must be activated by the collaborators at the time of reading.

In addition to publication, it is important that disclosure of the rules is constant. It is possible to design campaigns and even gamified actions to engage employees.

By communicating the rules in an attractive way, it is easier to increase the interest and understanding of employees about the relevance of the code of conduct.

In what situations is the code of conduct important?

So far you have learned what a code of conduct is and how to create a company code of conduct. Now we are going to focus on the utmost importance to preserve the company and employees and various situations. Check out some of them below.

# 1 Protection from harassment

Cases of bullying in the workplace, moral and sexual harassment and even disagreements between colleagues are covered in what is a code of conduct.

That way, it is possible standardize behavior and interpersonal relationships in the workplace.

This helps to protect people from unpleasant situations, which can affect their mental health at work and their quality of life. In addition, it is a great tool to preserve the quality of the internal organizational climate.

# 2 Diagnosis of misconduct

With well-defined rules, it is possible to make proper assessment of cases of misconduct. Thus, the company preserves itself and is authorized to take drastic measures in relation to those who act in disagreement with the rules.

A conduct committee must be set up to assess complaints, which must always be made through a secure channel and anonymously.

Punishments must be foreseen and may be necessary, but they are not the main focus. The purpose is always to educate and raise awareness of the team so that eventual failures do not happen again.

Read too: Termination policy: what it is, importance and how to do it

# 3 Compliance policies

What is a code of conduct serves as a set of written rules that must be practiced by employees in the performance of their duties. These rules include the confidentiality of information, an essential factor in protecting the company's most important data.

The standards also guide the way employees do business on behalf of the company. Particular care should be taken in situations where employees are interested in both ends of a conversation. Conflict of interest is a serious compliance issue, which must be severely investigated and corrected as soon as possible.

# 4 Improved company image

By improving employer branding, or the company's image and reputation, the code of conduct has become a factor in market competitiveness. Therefore, the concern of executives with ethics in organizations is increasing.

In the same way that a person is evaluated for his actions, companies started to have their ethics analyzed by all their stakeholders, from shareholders to customers. This includes recent changes in society's behavior in relation to some issues, such as:

In general, what is a code of conduct is fundamental for create more ethical professional relationships.

If conducted seriously, it is an excellent tool for:

  • preserve the organizational climate;
  • improve the business image;
  • keep the company running in accordance with the law.

So, try to follow the tips we covered in this article and be an ethics agent within your company!

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HR Consultant UK is the only one that delivers an incredible experience and still solves the real problem that the customer has. Talk to an expert and find out how to reduce your HR costs by 30%.

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