How to Create a Code of Ethics

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Create a Code of Ethics
Create a Code of Ethics (Image: Stock Xchng)

Every business should have a workable code of ethics to adhere to that helps in the daily life of that business. A code of ethics outlines acceptable behavior expected from employees--whether it is in relationship to each other or in their relationships with clients. A code of ethics should spell out what is expected of employees clearly, so that there is no questions as to the business' reputation. Learn how to create a code of ethics for your workplace.

Decide why you are writing your code of ethics. Is it to inspire your employees? Is it to spell out the expected behavior? Deciding on the reason will set the tone for your code of ethics. Enlist the help of other respected colleagues to help in writing a code of ethics. You'll want the input of other employees to make sure that you have a well-rounded code of ethics to enforce.

Begin with an introduction that explains the purpose of the code of ethics and what you hope to achieve by instituting such a code. The introduction is a good place to include your company's mission statement.

Add the items to your code of ethics. Remember to cover such issues as interpersonal relationships, behavior expected around customers and clients and other items that might specific to your company or industry.

Decide how you will implement the code of ethics. Will you send out the code of ethics as a memo to the rest of the employees? Will employees incur penalties if they do not follow the code of ethics? Establishing a protocol for implementing the code will make sure that there is no question of the importance of the code of ethics.

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