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MBA Resource – How to Create a Code of Business Ethics

INTERVIEWER: How to Create a Code of Ethics– is your business struggling to create a strong code of ethics and form a recognizable brand? Creating ethical guidelines are essential for any business because they let your clients and employees know the principles and values that matter to you most. To start, gather a committee of responsible, dedicated employees to help create a list of all the ethical codes your company wants to stand behind. The committee needs to focus these codes around existing policies and input for improvement from the current employees. They also should engage with co-workers to see what codes matter to them most.

Codes should revolve around employee conduct, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, client relationships, company assets, and entertainment. Don’t hesitate to create or alter any codes your company currently has, if there is an opportunity to improve the situation. Be sure that your codes work like an umbrella and cover a broad spectrum of what your company is all about.

These codes aren’t here to answer specific issues but , rather, help guide your employees and prepare your current and future clients for how you handle yourselves internally. Create a working draft and have the committee meet frequently to discuss any changes to the codes. Once the committee has created a final list of codes that everyone can agree on, it’s time to share with the company and clients.

Here are some ways to help spread the word– communicate the codes to management and let it trickle down the organization chart, plan a celebration and promote a positive workplace with the code, reward employees that promote and live by the code. A well-established code of ethics can allow your company to build on its brand and allow your employees and clients to have a much better understanding of your company, which will lead to better results across the board.