Naperville Business Lawyer on the Importance of an Employee Code of Conduct

code of conduct, Naperville business law attorneyEvery business that has an image or reputation to uphold—which should be all businesses—stands to benefit from an employee code of conduct. Separate from your company code of ethics, an employee code of conduct is meant to clearly communicate your expectations of employees regarding how they should behave in the workplace or while representing the company. It can also prove to be a valuable legal or disciplinary tool when an employee fails to fall in line with those expectations.

As a business law attorney, I realize that it is not always easy to create an ethics and conduct program that sticks. Over time, employees may lose sight of the company’s values and morals. Alternatively, they may become so comfortable in their position that they forget to focus on what is expected of them. All of these issues can be managed effectively through proven and timeless strategies.

Communicate Clearly

Communication is the key to success in nearly all aspects of running a business; the success of an employee code of conduct is no different. Clearly target specific behaviors (both desirable and undesirable ones) with the help of case studies, interactive presentations, and well-defined examples. Many successful companies also give their employees a chance to ask questions and discuss their concerns and ideas during training sessions. This does more than just push the importance of adherence; it cultivates an environment that empowers employees to do better.

Want it to be Memorable? Make it Interactive!

If you want employees to remember what is expected of them and improve the way they make sometimes difficult ethical decisions, make it memorable and interactive. Quizzes that ask them to describe how they would respond in a situation, role-play situations, webinars, and other interactive tactics all have the same benefit – employees internalize the code of ethics and improve their overall reasoning skills, giving them the tools they need to handle the myriad of situations they may face.

Reinforce and Repeat

One of the biggest reasons that a code of conduct policy fails is that employers often consider it a one-time training. This could not be further from the truth. New challenges will arise, and, over time, the company values or expectations may shift. Moreover, when moral and ethical values are revisited and reinforced through additional training programs, observation sessions, recertification testing, or just simple but powerful exercises on a regular basis, employees (and even employers) are more likely to stay focused on what is really important.

Need Assistance with an Ethical Matter in Your Company?

Whether you need help in dealing with a disgruntled employee, a breach of company policy, or simply need assistance developing important documents and policies, the experienced Naperville business law attorneys at The Gierach Law Firm can help. With more than 40 years of experience and a desire to form a healthy working relationship with all our clients, we can provide both effective representation and sound legal counsel. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation today.