Not everyone is born with J. Where on earth do you start? How exactly do you want your employees to represent your company, in conversation, action, and belief?
These norms are the foundation for diversity and inclusion. Company leaders across functions should be involved in the process of drafting codes of conduct to think critically about how to build culture on their teams, and how writing a code of conduct build bridges with other teams. Codes of conduct are only effective when they are integrated as part of a broader process that includes training, enforcement, monitoring and evaluation, and ongoing evolution.
Ideally the team should be diverse and inclusive, and influencers who can build company support for the code of conduct should participate; otherwise, consider bringing in an outsider to facilitate the process and help communicate the results.
Resist the temptation to cut and paste from the detailed codes of conduct developed for conferences and events — they are not designed to cover the nuances and complexities of workplace interactions. The team should carefully consider the scope and enforcement of the code.
Does it just apply in the workplace, or also at work-related social functions and events? If a violation occurs, what is the process for filing a complaint?
If conflicts of interest arise along the reporting chain, what should an employee do? Often, codes of conduct are driven by lawyers, which is a mistake.
Even with input from a broader multi-disciplinary team, having a lawyer lead the process will likely result in a risk-mitigating, law-oriented focus. What you really want is a collaborative, values-driven approach — one that will inspire working with openness, trust, and collaboration instead of bias, fear, and avoidance.
The code of conduct is not a silver bullet for inclusive workplaces. To be effective, codes should be designed and implemented alongside other supportive components. If such efforts fail, we are concerned that companies will blame and dismiss diversity and inclusion altogether.
It should be integrated with other policies, including anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, inclusive benefits, and confidentiality policies, and should be consistent across partnerships with outside organizations, customers, and suppliers. Codes of conduct should be publicly shared, easily accessible, and highly visible.
In fact, low visibility may do harm by communicating that a company does not really value its code of conduct.
The document should include concrete examples of behavior and situations in plain language to illustrate otherwise abstract concepts. Detail the range of responses and the way enforcement will happen if the policy is violated.
Our guidelines for developing strong value statements are: Support the idea that your employees will be treated humanely and with empathy as valuable members of your working team.
Explicitly state how and when actions that violate the code of conduct will be handled, and who is involved in enforcement. Avoid using in-house jargon or terminology when possible.
This helps ensure that those outside your organization can understand, which is great for recruiting new talent. Keep values clear, simple, and proactive; cover more complicated issues like the anti-harassment policy as standalone statements elsewhere in your code of conduct.
Specify who is covered You should include a passage describing the diversity you want to see in your company, taking care to recognize groups that tend to be targeted for exclusion.
The list should include the classes of individuals legally protected from discrimination known as protected classesbut it should not be limited to them. Specify a process for reporting complaints When developing reporting procedures, approach them not as a company looking to avoid liability, but from the perspective of an employee who has been faced with an incident they need to report.
Consider offering more than one option for incident reporting. Without an option that allows for anonymity, should a situation arise where an employee may fear retaliation, an incident may go unreported. This can lead to multiple incidents going unreported, and ignorance at the management level of a repeat offender or a cultural problem.Considerations For Writing A Code Of Ethics.
by Chris MacDonald, Ph.D. Considerations For Writing A Code Of Ethics By Chris MacDonald, Ph.D. (originally published in Gene Marks, ed., Streetwise Small Business Book . All exhibitors in the expo hall, sponsor or vendor booths, or similar activities are also subject to the code of conduct.
In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. “Suggested Guidelines for Writing a Code of Ethics/Conduct” is a publication the Corporate Governance Services of Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP, .
When you write a code of conduct for your organization, it is important to know the essential elements that will help foster understanding and compliance in your members. Write a statement explaining your organization’s dedication to ethics and responsible conduct.
Writing a Museum Code of Ethics, (American Association of Museums, ) Developing and Enforcing a Code of Business Ethics, by Gary Ward Codes of Professional Responsibility: Ethics Standards in Business, Health, and Law (4th Ed), by Rena A.
Gorlin (Editor). Congratulations. You now have a shiny new Code of Conduct! That’s the first step – give yourself a pat on the back. Your effective Code of Conduct will more than likely become the platform upon which an effective compliance program is built.