Do you need a Code of Conduct?

I recently had a client ask me, “Do I really need a Code of Conduct”?

I told him No.  Not if you don’t want to state your company culture and its social norms, and not if you don’t want to maintain a standard of expected conduct. What about communicating established rules I asked him, the behaviours and proper conduct in the workplace for all individuals within your organization?

I asked, why wouldn’t you want to enter into a mutual agreement on these matters with your employees?

I reminded him of the extraordinary efforts he takes daily to diligently protect his business interests, and that having a solid Code of Conduct furthers that, takes his protection to the next level.  Simply by informing all employees of the organizational expectations by defining behaviours.

To expand on this, when I say “all employees”, I really mean “ALL employees”.  From the executive suite to the line employees.

A Code of Conduct is not a “do as I say, not as I do” agreement.  Code of Conduct applies in a one-size-fits-all fashion.

While having a Code of Conduct process in place will not assuage all employee fraud or unacceptable behaviours, it will however provide you and your organization with the legal platform from which disciplinary and or legal action could be launched.  And let’s be clear, the Code of Conduct document is not simply a punitive policy which an organization can use against those who “break” the rules; it will also provide direction to employees who wish to report an incident.

So, what would your Code of Conduct say about your business?

I’d love to have that discussion with you.