I and two other individuals have agreed to start a business that will provide management consulting services to nonprofit organizations. Because of the increased scrutiny on actions of corporations and those who act on behalf of organizations, we have determined that it would be essential to have our ethics program developed before we start offering our services. A business as a moral agent must prove that it has an effective ethics program to protect employees, the corporation, and businesses that the company will serve. It is also important to have an ethics program to support the ethical values of our corporation and to make it clear to employees what is acceptable behavior, and to make clear what policies and standards are to be followed in our consulting company. It has been proven that businesses who take these steps to prevent misconduct by making the code of ethics clear for their company have had great success with no reputation damage for a period of at least five years for some (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2008). Code of Ethics:
A: Standards and Procedures:
Responsibility of employees to one another and including management and owners shall be as follows: All employees and personnel of MCS are required to observe the highest standards of personal, professional, and business conduct. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations is the minimum standard in fulfilling ethical duties and responsibilities. Management Consulting Services endeavors to practice honesty, fairness, and integrity in all our dealings with one another, the public, the business community, stockholders, clients, and suppliers alike. This requires that we all take responsibility in ethical decision-making and recognize that all actions must reflect the highest ethical practices. Failure to follow the practices and policies of this Management Consulting Services firm can result in discipline, up to and including termination. All personnel working for MCS will be required to read these Ethics Guidelines and a signature of acknowledgement and consent to work under these terms is required. Responsibility to our Clients. Management Consulting Services will serve our clients with integrity, competence, and without bias.
MCS will keep confidential all client information and records of our clients engagements. MCS will use proprietary client information only with the client’s permission. MCS will not allow misuse of confidential client information by our firm or its consultants. MCS will not allow conflicts of interest, which supply a competitive gain to a client through our use of confidential information or property from another client who is a direct competitor without that competitor’s authorization. MCS does not recruit employees of a client or assist them in getting employment elsewhere except by express permission and prior consultation with the client (DiMatteo & DiMatteo, 2001). Responsibility of Management. MCS will not engage in any consulting assignment unless we have a consultant who is qualified to perform it based on their expertise and competency. MCS will assist our fellow consultants in developing their qualities; support them in practicing the Code of Ethics of this profession, and work together with our consultants in a constructive manner.
Management Consulting Services will continue to keep our professionals educated by developing their knowledge, skills, and techniques through updated management consulting classes and seminars to remain experts in our professional consulting business. Prior to commencing the execution of any consulting obligation, MCS will ensure that the objectives, range of work, proposal , the professional fees and payment arrangements have all been agreed upon with the client in writing. MCS will immediately concede any influences on our objectivity to our clients and will offer to withdraw from a consulting engagement when a conflict of interest or integrity may be impaired. MCS will document all reports submitted to clients. This will maintain continuity of understanding of the client’s problems and the solutions that have been created for the client in order to have a reference when necessary.
MCS will charge reasonable fees that are proportionate with the consulting services we provide, time that we spend, and equivalent to our expertise. MCS does not accept any commissions, fees, or compensation from other parties in connection with any recommendation to a client to purchase equipment, materials, or services as a result of our consulting engagement (Consulting, 2006). MCS will not advertise our services in an illusory or overstated manner or in any other way that may harm the integrity of the profession of management consulting. All clients of Management Consulting Services and all parties involved are required to read and sign an acknowledgement of these terms and conditions. B. Ethics Training Program:
Ethics training programs are part of the necessary growth if all companies. Ethics training programs when given at least yearly will foster positive morale among employees and encourage employees to make right choices based on ethics training. Ethics training will also furnish guidelines for protection in liability. The perception of a business is readily determined by the ethics that company projects among its employees, the environment, and the community.
If a company has a reputation of having integrity, employees as well as customers and colleagues will be highly honored to be part of or associated with this business (Gordon, 2006). MCS will mandate online Ethics training to be taken yearly for each employee and all other personnel. The MCS individual will be given 30 days to complete the online training to be completed each year no later than 30 days after the date of hire, i.e. date of hire 06/10/2011, a particular employee would have until 07/10 of every year after their employment date to take the yearly online ethics training and have their completion page signed and sent in to the HR Ethics Manager. The PC online training would encompass four specific areas: Enforcement of company rules.
Ethical behavior regarding the environment in relation to company property and liability issues.
C. Monitoring, Auditing, and Reporting Ethics Violations:
The Board of Directors would be in charge of the Code of Ethics for our company and subject to its rules and regulations. We three would be the committee and I am the Ethics manager and officer. Any and all concerns should be turned in via the online program for anonymous purposes and be directly handled by our committee. The employee and all personnel for our company may still contact the Ethics Officer personally if that is the more comfortable way to deliver the ethics concerns and perceived violations.
The Ethics committee would be responsible for developing and interpreting policies and procedures for ethics concerns. Quarterly department meetings for interpretation of ethics policies and procedures. Discuss briefly weaknesses with understanding of ethics policies and procedures and answer questions from employees regarding any of the policies or procedures. Explain the monitoring, auditing, and reporting process and again answer questions employees or personnel may have. Monitoring, Auditing, and Reporting of Misconduct.
The Ethics officer would be solely responsible for monitoring the online reporting by employees and personnel and take appropriate measures to resolve possible fraud or misconduct as reported to include private discussion with the accused to avoid legal action if possible, and misunderstandings that occur due to lack of full understanding of the company ethics and procedures policies and standards of conduct. This online system would be directly connected to the Ethics officer’s inbox designed outside of email and strictly through the reporting system and not accessible by other personnel.
Auditing would include the effectiveness of operations, the credibility of financial reporting, preventing, and examining for fraud, asset protection, and compliance to laws and regulations of state and Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations and compliance with Sarbanes – Oxley Act. Reporting of misconduct can be done in two ways. An employee or personnel may turn it in through the computer online ethics guideline program anonymously or ask for a private meeting with the ethics officer to reveal the perceived misconduct and be protected without fear of retribution. All reports whether to the ethics officer or through the online anonymous reporting system would be strictly confidential and automatically protect the reporting individual. Rewards for following the ethics policies and procedures.
Additional Paid Time Off at 1 day per year up to the first four years. After the fifth year of employment the paid time off will accrue at 2 additional days per year. A plaque will be awarded to the employee voted on for employee of the year. The employee or personnel will also receive dining tickets made out to favorite restaurant for $30.
Disciplines to include.
First warning with defining issues, explaining the policies, and retraining. Second warning will include possible suspension along with retraining and possible restitution by employee if necessary. Third could include termination or plea to Ethics committee for continuation of employment with demerit on pay scale and possible demotion. If legal proceedings develop from a violation then termination is absolute.
D. Ethics Program Review and Improvement:
The ethics committee will determine on a yearly basis if improvements are needed in specific ethics areas and will discuss and implement updates in all areas pertinent. This will be done through review of online suggestions employees and personnel have offered as part of their yearly online ethics training. An ethical checklist will be used to determine proper growth for the company regarding the ethics culture of our company and to determine needed changes for that growth (McNamara, 1992). Education of updates on a yearly basis in conformance with internal auditing standards to include the following:
Fraud risk management.
Technology based audits, due professional care.
Prohibition from managing risk.
Consulting, F. P. (2006). Our Code of Conduct. http://focalpointconsult.com/?category_name=our-code-of-conduct . DiMatteo,
B. C., & DiMatteo, G. (2001, March 10). Code of Ethics. http://www.atlanticconsultants.com/about/code-of-ethics.htm . Ferrell, O., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2008). Developing an Effective Ethics Program/Implementing and Auditing Ethics Programs. In O. Ferrell, J. Fraedrich, & L. Ferrell, Business Ethics Ethical Decision Making and Cases (pp. 4-85). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Gordon, A. (2006, April 6). Ethics Training Programs For Employees. EzineArticles.com/3952220 McNamara, C. M. (1992). Complete Guide To Ethics Management. http://managementhelp.org/businessethics/ethics-guide.htm#anchor41892 .