Does your company have a code of conduct training program? This is a helpful document that can help you and your employees determine what it means to be ethical in your workplace and how to navigate ethical dilemmas. We’re tackling what code of conduct training looks like, why you need one, what makes it effective, and more. Let’s learn how to be “ethical before we make a spectacle” together with a powerful code of conduct!
What is Code of Conduct Training?
Let’s start with ethics — this term originates from the Ancient Greek root word êthos, meaning "character” or “moral nature.” We like to think of ethics as societal beliefs about what is right and wrong and how those beliefs guide our behavior, which form the guideline for writing an effective code of conduct. Some companies even choose (or are required) to have a written code of ethics or ethics training in addition to their code of conduct.
A code of conduct sets forth the rules for expected behaviors for all members of a company based on their ethics… in other words, the dos and don'ts of acceptable conduct in the workplace. While most organizations write down and distribute their code of conduct (either written or electronically) it can also be effective for employees to participate in a conduct training course.
Keys to an Effective Code of Conduct Training Program
If you are working on crafting a code of conduct training program for your organization, we have four keys that your course should accomplish to be as effective as possible. With EasyLlama’s best-in-class online course, you can rest easy knowing that all of these keys — and beyond — will be addressed.
1. Encourages Ethical Behavior
Writing — and maintaining — a code of conduct for your company can help encourage a more ethical workplace. Having strong, ethical leaders who can demonstrate and maintain the company's core principles and values sets a great example for their fellow team members across the organization. When these leaders choose ethics over profit, their behavior can positively influence the entire workforce.
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2. Promotes Reporting of Misconduct
Keeping the company’s code at the center of your business will help employees understand how important it is to both follow these rules — and to report those who do not. Reporting unethical behavior and policy violations is the right thing to do, but employers must recognize how it can put employees in an uncomfortable position, especially to report on a supervisor or company leader.
Reporting a workplace violation can feel daunting, and the number one reason why people don't report violations is a fear of retaliation, such as being transferred, terminated, or being denied a promotion. However, unethical behavior in the workplace should not be tolerated, and companies should have a policy in place that strictly prohibits retaliatory behavior by anyone.
3. Develops Capacity for Moral Judgment
Your code of conduct, and related ethics training, can help employees make decisions that align with the shared values of the company. They provide concrete parameters that employees can use to determine how they will behave. When you don’t have a clear guide of what your company stands for, then there is no baseline of expected decisions and behaviors.
4. Fosters a Healthy Work Culture
Perhaps the most important key to your code of conduct and related training is that it promotes respect among all members of the company. A lack of respect can breed a toxic work environment where negative or bullying behaviors are seen as the norm, employees are stressed, communication is limited, and negativity can trickle down to interactions with clients or customers. When a positive work culture is cultivated and maintained, employees are more likely to feel motivated to fulfill your organization’s mission, as well as engaged and fulfilled in their work!
Are you ready to implement or update your code of conduct? It’s important to roll out accompanying code of conduct training courses so that your employees understand the gravity of this company document. EasyLlama’s best-in-class online compliance training is the most engaging solution on the market, with real-life scenarios and interactive knowledge checks. Check out a free course preview today to learn more about the features that can help make your workplace the best it can be!