Our clients are placing a high level of trust in us and we must honor that commitment by ensuring no confidential information is disseminated outside our company or to those inside the company who may have a conflict of interest. Above all else we will be professional with our clients and work to the best of our ability to provide them with unrivaled service. Since we specialize in working with nonprofit companies the majority of clients we work with will have an Ethical Code as well.
When available we will take their Code of Ethics into account for any work we will be doing where we act on their behalf.
Since we work with many nonprofit and volunteer based organizations we encourage everyone to volunteer and donate time as they see fit with the following guidelines; 1) Volunteering will not be done to curry favor with the business before they are a client. 1) Volunteering will not be done during an active consulting project with the company you are consulting with.
2) It is up to you to determine if volunteering for one of our clients will result in a conflict of interest. Training Program All New-Hire employees will receive a minimum of Four (4) hours of Ethics training during their first week with the company.
At a minimum the following will be covered; 1) Code of Conduct 1) Actual ethical situations that have arisen with the company in the past a. Bribes / Gifts b. Conflicts of Interest c. Relationships with Clients 2) Who to talk to if an ethical situation or question arises d. Owners e. Ethics Point Hotline At the end of the training you should be able to understand the following items (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2008); 1) Recognize Situations that might require ethical decision making 1) Understand the values and culture of the organization ) Evaluation the impact of your ethical decisions on the company 3) The difference between your ethical values and those of the companies. During your training if you have any suggestions to add or have ethical situations you’d like to discuss please do not hesitate to bring it up with the trainer. We understand that everyone has had experiences in personal life and when working with other companies. Those experiences can help us expand and improve upon on our existing training and update our Code of Conduct as required. Training Program – Yearly Refresher
At a minimum of once a year, the entire company will convene for an Ethical Situations Round Table. Topics will include newsworthy stories of other companies and any closed ethical issues within the company. This is a time not only to discuss ethical situations but to work as a group in finding the ideal solution to how the company should handle similar issues. We want to be a step ahead and be prepared for events that could affect the company. Reporting/Monitoring of Discussing an Ethical Situation During your time with the company you may run into situations that you would like guidance on.
The Owners of the company have an open door policy for talking about these issues. It is better to talk about them before they happen than after they happen though. The Owners will work with you on the situation for the best outcome for the company. They are invested in the company and ensuring the company makes ethical decisions ensures long term growth and profitability. Alternatively we have contract with Ethics Point to provide a hotline for reporting or discussing ethical situations if you do not feel comfortable talking with the owners about the situation in question.
Your call to Ethics Point (“Hotline Reporting -,” 2012) will be confidential but information about the situation will be reported to the owners so they can work through the situation. The company also leverages Microsoft Exchange for monitoring E-mails of all Employees to proactively deal with potential ethical issues that may arise while working with our clients. Due to this type of monitoring we highly recommend that personal issues are not dealt with using your business e-mail address. Investigating Ethical Issues or Situations The company has contracted with Ethics Point to handle the investigation of any serious Ethical situations.
Due to the nature of Ethics Violations it can be a conflict of interest in our small company if the Employee’s or Owners were tasked with these investigations. We also do not want to create a hostile atmosphere during or after the investigation. During an investigation your cooperation with Ethics Point is required. Failure to cooperate with the Investigation will lead to disciplinary actions that may include termination of employment. Disciplinary Action for Ethics Violations While we hope that we are able to provide you with enough training, reinforcement and the cultural atmosphere to be able to avoid an ethical issue, it does happen.
Violations of the Code of Conduct will be handled by the CEO with recommendations from Ethics Point if they are if they are handling the case. Action will be based on the following items: 1) Damage of reputation or character of the company 2) Loss of Clients 3) Actions taken by the company to remedy the situation Action taken will be one or more of the following: 1) Additional Ethics Training 2) Leading one of the Yearly Ethical Discussions 3) Volunteer time with the Nonprofit of your choice 4) Time off w/ out Pay or use of vacation 5) Transfer of Account(s) to another consultant 6) Termination of Employment
Reviewing and Improving our Ethical Culture At the end of each year after the yearly discussions all aspects of the Ethics code will be reviewed and updated as required. With the ever changing business environment and new situations that are constantly popping up in the media it becomes mandatory that we do our best to keep the Ethics program relevant. With all things relating to the Ethics Program we encourage feedback and suggestions throughout the year, not just at the yearly meeting. All suggestions received throughout the year will be discussed by the owners frequently and any changes to the program will be made.
The ethics program belongs just as much the Company as it does the employee. The employee’s will rely on it as a frame of reference for how to work through difficult situations and the company will rely on it to guide the employee’s in their daily activities. If the company is successful the employee’s will be successful. In addition to the yearly meetings and annual review of the Ethics Program, every 3 years Ethics Point will audit the program and supply recommendations that may be implemented.