What is a Code of Conduct, Why Do We Need Training?

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A Code of Conduct is a Written Set of Principles and Ethical Standards

Most organizations strive to operate ethically and are committed to honesty, integrity, and trust. A code of conduct, also called a code of ethics, is a written set of principles that typically works in conjunction with an organization’s mission statement to identify expectations regarding appropriate behavior.

The code of conduct is an ethical roadmap for employees, management, vendors, and stakeholders.

More than 20 years ago, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) made codes of conduct a virtual necessity from a legal standpoint. SOX mandated the development of a code for top executives and board members in all publicly traded U.S. companies. Organizations that do not have a code of conduct in place must now provide a reasonable explanation as to its absence.

Today, employees, vendors, customers, prospective business partners, and investors want to ensure the organization they work for or do business with conducts itself ethically.

Code of Conduct Courses

Ethics and Code of Conduct

Ethics is about doing the “right” thing. In a business setting, ethics also ensures that all organization members share and uphold company values. This course introduces the concept of business ethics and highlights the company code of ethics and/or business conduct. Learners apply “the code” to a series of ethical issues common in the workplace. This course also discusses responsibilities, procedures, and “whistleblower” protections associated with reporting ethics and/or legal violations.

Syntrio - Ethic and Code of Conduct Training

Flexcode Demo

FLEXCODE DEMO This demo is an example of a Syntrio Flexcode. This product uses existing ethics and code of conduct modules and can be configured to match your organization’s Code. Get in touch with your account executive for more information to see if a FLEXCODE could work for your organization.

Syntrio - Flexcode Demo

Ethics and Code of Conduct for Government Contractors

Business ethics involves educating and aligning the actions of individuals with relevant laws and the organization’s preferred values. This course discusses the many benefits of promoting business ethics and the legal requirements of government contractors concerning ethics and compliance. It highlights the organization’s Code of Ethics and/or Business Conduct. It asks learners to apply the Code to hypothetical scenarios where ethical issues may arise in the workplace. It also discusses responsibilities, procedures, and “whistleblower” protections associated with reporting ethics and/or legal violations.

Syntrio - Ethic and Code of Conduct Training for Government Contractors

Ethics and Code of Conduct for Colleges and Universities

This course will introduce you to the Colleges Code of Conduct and challenge you to apply the Code to a few scenarios. The purpose is to provide an overview of the Colleges expectations of its Members and representatives. The College expects its Members and their representatives to adhere to the highest ethical standards, including honesty, integrity, respect for others, fair dealing, diligence, prudence, and accountability in using the Colleges resources. If you have questions or discover gaps or inconsistencies in policy and application, please share your observation with your supervisor.

Syntrio - Ethics and Code of Conduct for Colleges and Universities

Addressing Benefits of Code of Conduct Training

The best codes of conduct are strategic and comprehensive. With a robust code of conduct, an organization can achieve the following objectives:

  • Compliance with laws and regulations
  • Compliance with the organization’s standards of conduct and other policies
  • Tighter alignment and coordination among employees regarding the organization’s business practices
  • Early notification of emerging concerns regarding business practices
  • Early notification of suspected violations of the organization’s standards of conduct
  •  A greater understanding of, and commitment to, the organization’s mission and values (since the mission and values typically are addressed within a code of conduct)

A code of conduct covers many topics in an employee handbook, policy manual, or other loose policies. Most organizations require that employees attest to having read (or at least become familiar with) the code’s contents.

And for many reasons, organizations seek to provide their employees with code of conduct training regularly:

  • Not all employees know about or read the code of conduct
  • If they do read the code of conduct, they may not remember all of its contents and requirements
  • It’s easy for the code of conduct and its requirements to slip from an employee’s memory over a period of time
  • Since an organization periodically updates its code of conduct, it needs to inform employees of these updates

Most companies will train employees to follow the code for these and other reasons. Many do so annually.

Common Objectives of Code of Conduct Training

Most organizations expect all employees to read or at least review their code of conduct. But this review is too often superficial. Many employees don’t read it in its entirety. Even a review can be cursory. Even more, reading or reviewing it doesn’t necessarily help the employee to understand it and know how to apply its standards of conduct.

Typically, organizations seek to achieve some or all of the following training objectives for learners:

  • Appreciate leadership’s commitment to the code and the organization’s compliance.
  • Understand the relevance of the code’s standards of conduct to the organization’s activities.
  • Learn about examples and situations to watch involving compliance with the code of conduct’s standards.
  • Know how to apply the standards of conduct to an employee’s activities.
  • Understand the consequences to individuals and the organization for violating laws, regulations, and standards of conduct.
  • Know the resources an employee can access or seek guidance from with questions about the code’s contents or concerns about specific actions that may violate the code’s standards.

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