Implementing a code of conduct
Implementing a code of conduct in the workplace involves communicating the policies and guidelines to all staff and providing any necessary training to ensure they understand the code. The code should be practised and promoted by management to lead the way for staff.
Before you implement your code of conduct, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which method will you use to implement the code?
- How and when will you publicise the code, both inside and outside of your business?
- What do you need to do so the values in your code are reflected in all relevant business policies and practices?
Methods of delivering the code
Induction training is a chance for employers and new employees to review and understand expectations and requirements. Along with a code of conduct, the induction package may include a training manual, mission statement, work health and safety information or any other information that you wish to deliver to new employees.
A business representative — such as the owner, manager, supervisor, HR staff member or trainer — could work through the code of conduct and other requirements and expectations with existing employees.
Online training course
Codes of conduct can be delivered online in a format that allows staff to work through topics at their own pace (although a deadline should be set to ensure it is done in a timely manner). After completing the course, staff should be able to print a competency certificate as proof that they understand the code.
Providing the code of conduct on the company intranet allows all staff to access it when they need to.
A printed version of your employee handbook left in a communal area such as a staff room will provide staff easy access to the code of conduct when required.
A summary version of the full code of conduct can act as a reminder to staff. Different parts of the code can be highlighted in different parts of your office — for example, you can put up signs in kitchens about cleanliness and respect for others.
Understanding the code
Get feedback from your staff to ensure that they understand the code of conduct and what is expected of them. If they don't fully understand some areas, provide appropriate training. For example:
- physically show them designated smoking areas
- give examples of websites that are inappropriate
- role-play a difficult phone call or sale and demonstrate how it should be handled.
Accepting the code
Ask staff to sign a document to say that they agree to abide by the code of conduct. This can minimise conflict if an employee violates the code and you need to take disciplinary action.