What is it and why have one?
A Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines established to determine an expectation of workplace behaviour whilst conducting daily activities and services that represent a business. No two businesses will have the same code of conduct, as it should be business specific reflecting upon the relevant industry and desired workplace environment, values, goals, and culture to be developed.
It should be a clear and concise document, to ensure that it is ‘to the point’ to encourage employee understanding of expectation and obligation of acceptable workplace behaviour and to enhance employee reference. Doing so will also reduce the likelihood of employee confusion or misunderstanding of behaviour expectations, acting as a preventative measure to reduce/avoid inappropriate workplace behaviour.
An effective code of conduct contributes to a positive workplace culture, as it promotes equality and ethical considerations within employee behaviour for increased workplace respect. Employers can further promote such equality and ethics through ensuring that the Code of Conduct is up to date and concisely states the language, behaviour and expectations to uphold when interacting with colleagues, customers and visitors.
An effective Code of Conduct should include:
- Behaviours that are or are not acceptable in the workplace;
- Why positive workplace behaviours are important and how this influences the work environment and workplace culture;
- Reference and examples of workplace Misconduct and Serious Misconduct;
- Relevant legislation of behaviours in the workplace and statements of how employees can comply;
- Business specific values to be upheld within daily activities and when representing the business;
- Examples and statements of ethics for employees to adhere to;
- Reference to and examples of how the use of employee judgement can increase positive outcomes and workplace resolve; and
- Suggestions of how employees can treat colleagues, employers, customers and visitors respectfully.
This document should be a collaborative effort, with contributions coming from employees of all employment areas and levels, utilising review and feedback as a process to develop the finalised guidelines that satisfy all employees. It is also necessary that these guidelines correspond and do not contradict any current rules and policies that exist in the workplace.
All staff should be familiar with the Company Code of Conduct. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure equal opportunity of access to this document in consideration of access awareness, location, and translation. To be effective and efficient, all new employees should be introduced to the Code of Conduct within onboarding process with the provision of a document such as a Fact Sheet, New Employee Handbook or Policy Manual, reintroduced and further discussed within Induction Training.
It is encouraged that all new employees sign a document to state acknowledgement of having received a copy and read the code of conduct within the onboarding process. However, there is no current law stating that an employee must do so or agree with the expectations within such.
Assurance HR Management assist many businesses with the development of documents that represent the expectations, values, behaviours, policies, and procedures required of both employees and employers within the workplace. Our team of specialists can work closely with you to collate, draft, and finalise documents that are specific to your business needs. Call us today on 1800 577 515 to speak with one of our professional team.