Staff and also management behavior in business reflects directly on your business. If your team are doing whatever they want, this is a direct reflection of your business on your customers and clients.
The best way to raise the standards of your team is to firstly reflect on your own behavior and set a good example and then also communicate the standards to your team using a code of conduct policy.
Your Behavior Counts
As business owner, your behavior counts. Your team are already looking and watching how you behave. Like your mother told you, actions speak louder than words.
So, if you firstly need to address your own behavior, then consider that before enforcing any policies in your business. Chances are, if you send a Code of Conduct Policy around your business, and then decide to behave otherwise your policy will fall on deaf ears. You will be wasting your time.
Set the standards first in your business by reflecting on your own behavior first and if you need some external help to address and behavior you may believe is detrimental to your business, then seek some professional coaching or assistance first. It will be worth it.
There is nothing more defeating to staff to see their boss set the rules and then blatantly break them in-front of them. Respect immediately goes out the window and staff lose faith in their boss as well as the organization in general.
Set the Code of Conduct Policy Benchmark
Once you have addressed any of your own personal issues, it is time to establish a benchmark of expectations for your organization. The easiest way to do this is to review what others have done and see if it is applicable to your business and personal standards.
You can use a Code of Conduct Template to do this quickly and easily. However, you should review the content in detail and ensure you are happy with the standards.
Where to Find a Code of Conduct Policy Template
A quick search on Google reveals there are about 158,000,000 results regarding a Code of Conduct Policy Template. There are a lot to choose from.
However, most of these are likely to be examples only and not really suitable to create your policy from quickly and easily.
There are a number of examples from businesses and then if you drill down you can find a number of websites requesting subscription based services to provide you with templates.
Read more below about how to get hold of our free Code of Conduct Policy Template.
What should be in a Code of Conduct Policy?
Firstly, it is good to consider what standards you are trying to uphold in your business. If you believe that your business should uphold high standards then you are going to need to communicate this to your team.
Generally in the marketplace over most industries, high standards are expected, so it makes perfect sense to aim for the top and ask your team to do their best.
Secondly, what are your own standards and expectations? It will be hard to enforce a high standard if you don’t follow that standard yourself. It is a bit rich to expect others to uphold a standard if you cannot uphold it yourself.
So think about this carefully before you write out your standards. Below are some things you should consider in your code of conduct policy.
Do you have a vision for your Organization? If not, it is a great idea to establish a Vision that underpins everything you do. An example of a Vision could be something like:
‘Client Fulfillment is our Goal for each and every Client‘
‘Business sustainability is core to what we do.
If we don’t have Clients – we don’t have a Business or a Job‘
The Vision of your Organization should be reflected in your Code of Conduct Policy. It doesn’t have to repeat the Vision, but should reflect the core principle of what you are trying to achieve.
Following on from your Organization’s Vision, you should also have a list of values that define who you are and how you act. These values are then also reflected in your Code of Conduct Policy. Together these two important documents help to set the tone and set the benchmark for what you expect in your business.
Do you have a vision or values within your organization? If not, take the time to create these basics so that you have the can create a good cornerstone of policy for your organization.
Let’s now talk about some expected standards of behavior.
Expectations of Behavior
What behaviors do you expect? Do you expect your team to be dishonest? Do you expect sloppy work ethics and laziness?
The following are a list of typical expectations you may want to consider for your Organization.
A basic principle but often ignored. Honesty is always the best policy and ensuring this occurs at all levels of the organization is difficult. It starts from the top and filters down so take the time to reflect on your own behavior if you expect your team to be honest.
Treat Others Fairly
The same goes for how you treat others. Treating your team fairly with dignity, courtesy and respect is a basic principle that should be followed by everyone in the organization including management.
Do not use offensive language or behavior in the workplace. Behavior of this type can easily offend others and is just unprofessional.
Discrimination in any shape or form is not acceptable. It creates major problems in any business and should be addressed professionally from management.
Bullying or Harassment
The same goes for bullying or harassment. Do not engage in any form of bullying or harassment or physical or verbal conduct and ensure your team knows this.
Carry out tasks or duties diligently and professionally. Team members need to act professionally at all times and expect others to do the same.
Methods of Reporting
Encourage an environment of reporting unethical and poor behaviors so they can be addressed before things get out of control.
These are just a few standards of behavior that you should expect in your organization. If you set the benchmark low, don’t expect your business to perform well in all areas. Upholding high standards shows good leadership and helping others do their best is what a leader should be doing.
More Expectations of Behavior
No Threats of Violence
Any type of violence is inappropriate. Treating others as you would like to be treated is key to creating a safe workplace.
No Discriminatory Jokes
Jokes can back-fire. OK, it is good to have fun at work but where does the line start and stop? Jokes that discriminate are not appropriate.
Unwelcome sexual attention
Inappropriate behavior is not appropriate either. This type of behavior can create enormous stress for victims and also create a toxic environment. Proactive action from management behalf will help team members feel as though they are being treated fairly and create an environment that is welcoming and safe.
Personal Insults on Others
Treating others appropriately should be a priority for everyone in the organization. Even jokes about insults can damage and harm relationships.
Free Code of Conduct Policy Template
OK, so below is a link to our free code of conduct policy template. However, consider our paid versions as they are much more comprehensive and incredible value for money.
Click the link below to download our free version.
Just creating a code of conduct is not then end of it. There needs to be a culture of continuous improvement in your organization.
Firstly, you as a leader of your organization manifest your ethics in your attitude and behavior. In addition to this, constant training and enforcement and measuring success and failures is something that needs to occur on a regular basis.
To be successful, your team need to feel comfortable enough to voice any concerns they have and to also understand that the organization will act when appropriate in accordance with the guidelines set.
Any other response will once again fall on deaf ears and employees will lose respect and leave.
Code of Conduct Policy FAQ’s
What is a Code of Conduct Policy in the workplace?
A Code of Conduct Policy outlines expected standards of behavior of all employees, management, sub-contractors and visitors.
What is the best way to create a Code of Conduct Policy?
The fastest way to create your Code of Conduct Policy is to use a Code of Conduct Policy Template. These can be easily purchased online.
What should be in a Code of Conduct Policy?
Firstly it is good to consider what standards you are trying to uphold in your business. If you believe that your business should uphold high standards then you are going to need to communicate this to your team.
Will a Code of Conduct Policy make a difference to my business?
Yes. A Code of Conduct Policy will set the benchmark for standards of behavior in your business. This will then have a ripple effect throughout your business and ensure high standards of performance are achieved.