How to Write a Code of Ethics for a Business

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Designing a code of ethics can help your company surpass the competition by laying down a basics of what is expected from the employees in day to day interactions.

Develop ideas: A code of ethics can vary from industry to industry, but for the most part a code of ethics is a list of beliefs, rules, values, and guidelines on how a business and its employees are expected to follow in day-to-day operations.

Some things to consider: Where in the past has the company run into trouble? Has this been resolved? How so? Do your customers have any complaints that deal with employee-customer relations? Is there anything that you don't want your employees to do or that may be illegal to do? Anything that you don't want your employees to do should be listed.

Write the code of ethics into an easy to read pamphlet or package. Distribute this package to all employees in the company.

Hold a staff meeting: This meeting should go over and reinforce the company's new code of ethics. This is also a good time to include a Q&A session and explain any disciplinary action if this code is not followed.

Hold annual staff meetings to reinforce the company's values and code of ethics. Its a good idea to get feedback from employees on whether the code of ethics is working well and what parts could be redesigned.

Tips & Warnings

  • Review your company's code of ethics at least annually and make any necessary changes.
  • Some industries already have a general code of ethics.
  • Make it mandatory to read the code of ethics for new hires.

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