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In today’s 24/7 information age, business ethics and ethical conduct are more important than ever. As a recent article on Forbes.com pointed out, “One scandal or breach of ethics will stick for potentially years, and conversely, any efforts made to conduct business ethically will be more apparent and publicly recognized.”
This is especially true with the “search effect” — the rapid-fire nature in which negative information and stories about a company spread. In many cases, it doesn’t matter if it’s true, speculative, rumored, or a combination of all of the above. It can travel at warp speed through online and social media.
A code of ethics is the set of business principles that a company is committed to. And, a code of conduct outlines specific employee behaviors that are required or prohibited.
Creating both can help your company reduce its potential exposure to breaches of ethics. These codes set clear rules about how all employees must comport themselves and signal to external audiences the values they can expect when working with a company.
In close collaboration with your company’s legal counsel and corporate communications officer, we help you:
A code of ethics and conduct will be developed as a multipage document that is available on a company’s website. It will include:
The goal is to deliver the information in a way that isn’t heavy-handed and stern yet speaks to the importance of the content.
A code of ethics and conduct articulates and promotes the principles and behaviors that every employee must abide by. In doing so, it plays an important role in guiding the overall success of a company.
We work with clients to develop a code of ethics and conduct in the context of how it works in concert with other documents and activities to effectively communicate a company’s mission, values and culture to employees and external audiences. We think about codes of ethics and conduct as key components of a company’s corporate communication program.