Code of Conduct and Ethics in Business

December 2, 2022
Benson Pixton

Did you ever find yourself working for a company that could not keep a handle on things? Misuse of company property, alcohol consumption, unsafe practices, or mistreatment of workers, are a few of the issues that you might have seen first-hand. These work environments not only breed a culture that is distasteful to employers, employees, and customers, they also put the company at risk for lawsuits. Perhaps you have even started your own business to avoid these problems and create a healthy work environment. Even if you have never seen such precarious situations in person, you know that a good work ethic and culture are essential aspects to a thriving business. Implementing effective business codes of conduct and ethics eliminates misconduct and reflects a positive image to every potential client.

The Difference Between a Code of Ethics and Conduct

Truth be told, the line is often blurred between a code of ethics and a code of conduct. Codes of Conduct work to further the vision of a company by outlining the values and expectations that guide the action of the company and its employees. A code of ethics is a guidebook that focuses on maintaining a culture of ethical choices within your company to portray trustworthiness to present and future clients. Many companies choose to apply both elements into one business code, other choose to make a code for both ethics and conduct. No matter what approach you take, a clear and detailed code ensures that employees have a code of conduct to follow, and decision makers in the company have an ethical guide to follow.  

"...professionally written code of conduct reflects the values of you and your company."

The Active Role of a Code of Conduct

A professionally written code of conduct that reflects the values of you and your company provides three clear benefits. First, a code of conduct encourages a culture of safety, respect, and high-quality work. Second, it will show all the care and value that you put into your company. Showing clients that a company shares the same core values creates a brand for your business, and a strong and positive brand is a powerful marketing tool. Finally, a code of conduct can protect the company from legal action. Being able to show that your company did its due diligence to prevent misconduct can reduce government fines and legal actions taken against you.  

How You Can Make a Code of Conduct a Part of Your Company

The first step in creating a code of conduct is to find the vision. The best way to start developing the ideas that will go into a code of conduct is by brainstorming the values that you want your company to reflect. If you need inspiration, many major companies love to show off what they value. Read up on what companies like Google or Starbucks value and implement in their codes of conduct. Reach out to others that you know and see if the company they work with has a code of conduct. If you are still looking for some insight, reach out to us at Sumsion Business Law. Our team is willing to help you develop a code of conduct that will best fit you and your company.

If you are still wanting more, see our blog “Employee Burnout in 2022” to see how a code of conduct can also help reduce employee burnout.

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