Ask any expert in Human Resources or in Employees Relations and they’ll tell you that having a solid Code of Conduct in place is a necessity. For every business there will be specific rules that govern its operation and these need to be clearly communicated to employees. For example, the importance of denoting hours of work and punctuality would hold true for most companies. These days, however, the Internet has created a huge amount of remote work stations and these also need guidelines to ensure smooth operations. In this situation, a different code would be necessary, which would contain deliverables and time frames so that staff are always aware of their parameters. The Code of Conduct would not necessarily cover the details of each position, but might stipulate that each job type will receive certain criteria of operations that need to be met. Putting this Code in writing is important, as is making certain that Code of Conduct training takes place to ensure that all employees understand the rules.
Codes of Conduct will vary according to the business
Each business looks to have a specific brand that sets it apart from its competitors, so the conduct expected from staff will vary. For example, many companies have their staff wear uniforms, and this would be part of the Code of Conduct. Dress codes usually feature strongly in company rules, even if uniforms are in place, as most businesses want to ensure that their staff look the part and present a professional image. On the other hand, some advertising companies might allow staff to wear jeans and T-shirts because they are presenting a ‘creative brand’ and want their clients to see them in this light. Sometimes these dress codes can be excessive, and a few businesses have endless pages denoting every detail even down to the number of ear-rings that can be worn in each ear. The good thing about documenting this means that the dress code can be presented to prospective employees and those that dislike this kind of rigidity can be warned in advance not to consider joining the business.
A Code of Conduct should also include which behaviors are acceptable, and should particularly highlight practices that would be considered disrespectful, racist, or sexist. In addition, the Code should lay down the consequences of these behaviors if they occur. This is definitely an area where thorough Code of Conduct training is necessary, as some of these points are subtle and require discussion. Other, more straightforward areas in the Code could include the use of company assets and resources, intellectual property, what would constitute fraud or insider trading, and the rules governing drugs and alcohol.