If you are one of those people that think that the code of conduct is just another paper the company issues, you are wrong. The code sets the rules for all the people who work for a company about how they should behave; it says what is allowed and what is not. If you read the news, ask yourself: why are there so many financial scandals? Because…
- People need to be reminded in a regular basis of what is wrong and right. Crimes have become a way of living; we hear it every day that at some point we can think that it is fine to steal, to harass somebody. “Everybody does it… why not me?”
- Companies give the code of conduct to their employees, to third parties but…they don’t do something to raise awareness of the consequences that their actions may have. “Nothing will happen” is a common phrase to justify an action. It is not that they learn the code by heart; it is to put the person in situations and test how they would react.
- Companies don’t sanction properly; some take action too late giving the person time to erase evidence or go away… others think the best solution is to fired that person instead of finding out the cause…others sanction according to the job position the person has. For example the same mistake could have been made by both the staff and the manager and the latter receive a less severe sanction.
If people only see the code as another piece of paper; as something theoretical, something without consequences… they’ll never understand its importance. The code of conduct is there to protect the company, all the people who work for it. So make sure that is properly understood and applied, you never know when you might need it!
By Mónica Ramírez Chimal, Partner of Asserto RSC, Mexico City
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