What is a code of ethics?

By Deepak Palasamudram3 min read · Posted Mar 7, 2023

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Before delving into a code of ethics, let's first review the true definition of ethics. Ethics****help an individual or organization to understand what is morally right or wrong and how specific actions can positively or negatively affect others and the environment. Ethics differ from laws, as an unethical action can still be considered legal.

What is a Code of Ethics?

A code of ethics is a document or set of guidelines outlining the ethical principles and values a business requires its employees to follow. A code of ethics also guides employees in handling moral dilemmas that may occur during their work. A code of ethics aims to promote integrity, honesty, and professionalism among employees and ensure that the business' actions are based on its values and missions.

Now, let's go over what a code of ethics should include!

What should be included in a Code of Ethics?

The following sections should be included in any organization’s code of ethics.

Employee Actions:

A code of ethics should go over how an employee should behave in the workplace. Employees must ensure that actions taken on behalf of the business maintain the business's reputation. Employees with unethical behavior could cause unethical business decisions and management practices, which will be noticeable to partners and customers.

Protecting Business Information:

A code of ethics should explain to employees that business information, such as financial records, marketing strategies, customer information, and electronic information, must be protected and that employee information, such as names and credentials, must be kept confidential.

Anti-Bribery and Corruption:

A code of ethics should cover employee trust; employees should always do their work fairly, honestly, and ethically.

Attendance:

Employees should always be on time for their workdays. When an employee is late, it puts a strain on the company. In addition, if an employee is absent from work, the supervisor must be notified in advance by the employee. That way, everyone knows when an employee is absent, and arrangements are made (such as being covered by another employee).

Workplace Harassment:

A code of ethics should inform employees that harassment or discrimination is not permitted. This may include jokes or insults regarding an employee's gender, age, race, religion, etc.

Cell Phone Usage:

Employees should not use a phone for personal use unless on a break or in an emergency.

Dress Code:

A code of ethics should go over the employees' dress code, ensuring they are dressed professionally or need to wear a specific uniform. Employees should also maintain proper hygiene when coming to work.

Substance Use/Tobacco Use:

A company must make sure employees know the strict consequences of having drugs, alcohol, and other substances on a business's property. Tobacco use, on the other hand, must be used in permitted areas. An example of this is designated smoking zones in a workplace.

Internet Usage:

A code of ethics should go over the conduct of using the Internet. This means that whatever is done on the Internet must be appropriate and should not disrupt online activities and productivity.

Conclusion

A code of ethics is a document or set of guidelines outlining the ethical principles and values a business requires its employees to follow. A code of ethics is needed for a company as it goes over the workplace's rules and informs employees of the rights and wrongs. A code of ethics must cover many essential components to keep a safe work environment and an ethical business reputation.

References

About The Author

Deepak Palasamudram

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Hello, I am Deepak, a high school student and an Article Writer for Pitch Labs. Along with my love of writing and teaching others, I am passionate about entrepreneurship, finance, and coding. I plan to delve more into these subjects in the future.

See more posts by Deepak Palasamudram

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Our organization cannot give out official legal/fiscal guidance. All articles are written by volunteers and it may be beneficial to contact professionals to assist your understanding of the information and to guide your action. Pitch Labs bears no responsibility for the results of actions taken based off of article content or any other form of assistance given.