Business Code of Ethics and Conduct

In setting up a business code of ethics there are a number of important factors to include in the code of ethics.

These factors should address a number of issues dealing with the organization's standards or expectations regarding:

  • honest ethical conduct
  • Quality of work performance
  • Customer relations
  • Employee relations, and
  • Community relations

The Business code of ethics and conduct should be an integral part of the company's policies and procedures portfolio.

Ethical Conduct

Outlined under this section would be the organization's expectations regarding corporate as well as individual integrity. Honest, ethical behaviour should be the standard for all employees of the organization, the CEO, directors, executives, managers, and employees.

There are some areas that would require closer attention such as:

  • Safeguarding the company's proprietary information. Every employee should be responsible for protecting the company's proprietary information from misuse or improper use and unauthorized access.
  • Every employee is responsible for protecting company assets under his or her control.
  • Documents and other records must be protected and maintained in accordance with the company's policy as well as the legal requirements governing contracts.
  • Personal, non-company activities and affiliates should be separate from a company's business.
  • Any employee violating the code of conduct should be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Quality of Work Performance

All employees of the organization should:

  • maintain the highest levels of performance in their work,
  • strive to improve their efficiency,
  • emphasis quality in everything they do on in their jobs.

Substandard performance or conduct should not be tolerated.

Customer and Business Associate Relations

Satisfied customers serve as an important indication of how successful an organization is. The company's policy should be to deal honestly and fairly with customers, suppliers, contractors, vendors, and other business associates.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

Here the organization should address what is considered a "conflict of interest", and what steps should be taken to avoid actual or potential conflict situations.

Employee Relations

We often hear companies say that their employees are their most important resource. How many companies actually show that their employees are really their most important resource, is a different story. All employees want to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect. They appreciate a work environment where they are valued and respected.

In just about every company, employees reflect a variety of cultural, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. They also represent all age groups, genders, race and orientations.

In honest, ethical organizations employees are respected and rewarded for their performance, regardless of their background. In these organizations, any kind of harassment is not tolerated, as workers are entitled to a safe working environment, free of verbal, physical, gender, or sexual harassment.

Community Relations

There are a growing number of companies that believe that it is important to serve the communities in which they are based. They often support community charitable causes. The benefit of supporting the local community is that it serves to enhance the company's public image in the eyes of that community.

The information on this page is intended to help you get started in creating a business code of ethics and conduct. However, there is a lot more detail that goes into preparing a code of ethics.

For more on ethics and conduct or assistance in setting up a customized business code of ethics for your organization contact us.