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Employee Code Of Ethics Template

This template provides a basic structure for your employee code of ethics.

The purpose of code of ethics in business

While you’re always trying to do what’s best, the right way to handle a situation might not always be so obvious. So a code of ethics policy acts as your professional moral compass and outlines what's expected of you - ethically speaking.

The scope of this code of ethics template for a small or large business

This policy applies to all employees (including full-time, part-time, and contractors), interns, volunteers, and business partners.

What is a code of ethics?

Ethics are the moral principles that guide your behavior. And while some ethics are universal, an individual’s personal code of ethics can vary greatly from another person’s. Meaning, what one person thinks is right might contradict what someone else thinks, causing potentially serious problems.So our employee code of ethics is a way to align how everyone in our organization conducts business. That way, we’re all on the same page regarding what is legally right, morally best, and healthiest for everyone involved.

Business code of ethics for our employees

The  code of ethics policy is based on our local and federal laws, and what our company has deemed morally correct. And it can be simplified into 7 core pillars:

  1. Respect
  2. Integrity
  3. Conflict of interest
  4. Justice<
  5. Lawfulness
  6. Accountability
  7. Teamwork

Please note: All these pillars apply both to our individual employees and the organization as a whole. If you have any concerns about the ethicality of the organization’s behavior, please voice your concerns to [HR].

1. Respect

Respect is treating people like you want to be treated. For example, giving your coworker personal space, taking note of their personal boundaries, demonstrating empathy, and showing kindness are all signs of respect.At [company name], we expect everyone to treat others with respect at all times - even in the face of workplace disagreements. And the following will not be tolerated and may trigger disciplinary action:

  • Bullying
  • Rudeness
  • Victimization
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination

If you feel that your team members are not showing you respect, please talk to [your manager/ HR].

2. Integrity

Integrity is conducting your business as if your manager is looking over your shoulder.For example, imagine you're in a situation where you can cut a corner and think your manager won't notice, such as not marking discrepancies in inventory. Integrity is taking the extra minute to calculate the missing products and marking them down according to protocol.At [company name], the following will not be tolerated and may trigger disciplinary action:

  • Petty or deceptive behavior
  • <Retaliation
  • Cheating
  • Lying
  • Stealing

All integrity issues will be fully investigated by [HR] and responded to according to the severity.

3. Conflict of Interest

At [company name], we define a conflict of interest as any personal activity that doesn't align with the company's best interest or goals.And as such, these circumstances can cloud the employee's judgment or commitment to the company. And consequently, negatively affect the organization.For example, conflicts of interest might include:

  • Using your position in the company for personal gain
  • Participating in activities that directly or indirectly benefit a competitor
  • Using company connections for your personal gain - without permission from the company
  • Utilizing company equipment for another business

Note: This is just a few examples and not an exhaustive list. If you have questions about other activities that constitute a conflict of interest, please contact [HR].

4. Justice

By justice, we're referring to upholding the objectivity of our workplace. Meaning, that all individuals have equal opportunities to succeed at [company name] - regardless of protected characteristics (race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation included).And that all employees in the same position are evaluated against the same expectations. AKA no favoritism.This applies to prospective candidates as well. For example, if you're involved in the hiring process, you should ask all candidates the same set of questions. That way, it's easier to make decisions based on capability and potential, not appearance.To help uphold this pillar, we ask that all employees be able to justify their decisions and leave a paper trail whenever possible. This will help expedite any HR investigations if a potential issue arises.If you feel that you have been discriminated against in any way, please contact [HR] immediately.

5. Lawfulness

You are required to follow all local and federal laws - both inside and outside of work. This includes, but is not limited to, all laws around assault, bribery, fraud, corruption, privacy protection, and cybersecurity.Depending on your role at [company name], you may have laws that pertain specifically to your position (such as accountants and medical professionals). In these cases, these laws will be outlined in our business playbook. And you are responsible for knowing and following them.When drafting up contracts, clauses, or disclaimers, please check with [our legal team] before distributing them.If you have any questions about the legality of activity - your own, a coworker's, or a business partner's - please reach out to [our legal team] immediately.

6. Accountability

We expect you to fulfill all your job obligations and responsibilities outlined [in our project management software and job scorecards]. And to communicate your progress to [your team/ manager] proactively. This includes:

  • Issues and obstacles as they arise
  • The status of the parts you own
  • Your available bandwidth
  • Any mistakes that you had a hand in
  • Taking advantage of development opportunities

At [company name], the following may trigger disciplinary action:

  • Not meeting expectations [outlined on your job scorecard]
  • Underperforming - especially if it becomes routine
  • Consistently slacking off
  • Not owning your mistakes>
  • Failing to address foreseeable obstacles
  • Lacking dependability

If you have concerns about anyone's performance on your team, please talk to [your manager/ HR].

7. Teamwork

We have teams for a reason. Work is a lot easier when people are looking out for you, your progress, and your projects.So we expect all our employees to act as a team player. This looks like:

  • Working well together
  • Communicating effectively and proactively
  • Sharing tribal knowledge
  • Holding your team members accountable
  • Helping fix mistakes, meet deadlines, or get the project done
  • Being open to others ideas and feedback

If you have concerns about someone on your team's behavior, please talk to [your manager].

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Have a question about this policy? Reach out to [HR contact].

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