As a consultant for the merger between UWEAR and PALEDENIM, I have gathered much information pertaining the creating and implementation of a code of conduct. There are many different ways this code of conduct can be implemented and delivered. While understanding that each company will have different preferences as to how to implement the code, I will submit an outline of what I believe is the best and most efficient way to deliver the code of conduct for both companies equally. A code of conduct will create a framework or visual of how employees and clients will view the company as a whole. “The existence of the codes seem to frame how the companies and their activities are understood.” (Frostenson, Helin, & Sandström, 2012, p. 269) The code of conduct for UWEAR and PALEDENIM will include four main components: Our Code and Responsibility, Violations and Consequences, Law Compliances and Regulatory Orders, and Policies and Procedures. Our Code and Responsibilities
This would be the first section of the code of conduct. It should include the overview of the code, the responsibilities the code provides to the company, and those persons who must abide by the code. The responsibilities of the code are to serve as a guide to help employees, officers, and board members in making informed and ethical decisions. All persons including third parties, business partners, and contractors must know and understand the code and act in a way that is consistent with the code. Violations and Consequences
Violations and consequences will be listed in this section, but will not be limited to the written communications here. Employees will be encouraged to know and understand each violation listed and its consequences. They will also be expected to report any observed accounts of unethical behavior. Consequences would include but wouldn’t be limited to separation of employment. Law Compliances and Regulatory Orders
The information listed here would be mostly useful to management and executive level officers. However, employees must maintain knowledge and understanding of this section in order to remain compliant at the door level. All federal regulations will be stated in this portion of the code of conduct. For example, the policy created to implement the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to monitor internal auditing policies would be stated in this section. Here is where the human resources department will verify the company’s compliances with federal regulatory acts such as the Sarbanes- Oxley Act. Policies and Procedures
The policies and procedures section will include all policies that employees, managers, and board members must follow. There will be sections to separate the policies that apply to each individual level. Although board members and managers are ranked higher than door level employees, they must still abide by the policies and procedures of the lower level employees. For example, the No Gift policy as stated in previous works, will be listed under a section for door level employees but must still be followed by all employees of the company. This will guarantee a fair level of work and maintain employee moral as far as ethics and behaviors are concerned. Consistency across the board for all employees and work levels, is the goal in stating the policies and procedures. Non-compliance to policies and procedures will be stated in the violations and consequences section.
After the code of conduct is fully compiled and voted on by the ethics board, it must be delivered. Although having a creative way to present the code of conduct to the company, it is more important to understand the client and their expectations. Preparation as a speaker would be my main focus in delivering the code. “As much as technology has advanced and improved the quality of audiovisuals aids in presentations, it is important to review the basics of being a better speaker.” (Lucente-Cole, 2004, p. 42) Preparing myself to deliver the code of conduct in a way that generates feedback from the audience, will allow me to verify understanding and knowledge of the code. The code would be delivered in a new employee handbook and reviewed in all new hire orientations. Each new hire would be required to sign for receipt and understanding of the communications in the code of conduct. As for existing employees, they will review and sign for receipt during the next quarterly meeting.
There are other additional policies that haven’t been listed or discussed but should definitely be included. One of the most common policies that hasn’t been established is attendance. The attendance policy would be carried out or listed in different stages. For example, if an employee is tardy, there would be a verbal counseling to address stage one of the tardy policy in attendance. If that employee is tardy again, they will be disciplined according to stage two of the attendance policy. Disciplinary actions can be reduced or removed from an employees record after that employee exemplifies compliance with the policy for six months.
Last but certainly not least, UWEAR and PALEDENIM should have a policy addressing sexual harassment. Sexual harassment occurs very often in the workplace. UWEAR and PALEDENIM must state explicitly, the expectations and consequences of sexual harassment. “Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.” (Sexual Harassment, n.d., para. 2) They, UWEAR and PALEDENIM, must make sure each employee understands what could be considered as sexual harassment in order to maintain compliance to this policy. Due to the fact that major lawsuits can be created from an occurrence of sexual harassment, this policy will be listed under Law Regulations and it must be strongly enforced.
Frostenson, M., Helin, S., & Sandström, J. (2012). The internal significance of codes of conduct in retail companies. Business Ethics: A European Review, 21(3), 263-275. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8608.2012.01657.x Lucente-Cole, G. (2004). Delivering An Effective Presentation. Public Relations Quarterly, 49(4), 42. Sexual Harassment. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2014, from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm
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