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Employee Code of Conduct


Employee Code of Conduct

Employee Code of Conduct

This customizable Employee Code of Conduct and the Template is ready to be adapted to your company’s specific needs and can serve as an initial point for establishing your policies. Download your copy today in PDF format; see the download link below.


Your Employee Code of Conduct holds immense significance within your Employee Handbook. We’ve crafted a code of conduct template to assist you in effectively conveying your expectations to your employees with clarity and sensitivity. This template is tailored for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
.


Please note that this policy may not include italicized information and topics below. The brief policy only
highlights the most relevant topics and compliance issues.

Employee Code of Conduct Contents:

  • Decorum and diplomacy
  • Gifs, fees, other benefits
  • Trade rules and standards
  • Operations practices guidelines
  • Anti-bribery and anti-corruption
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Health and Safety
  • Intellectual property
  • Privacy
  • Dress code
  • Cyber security and digital devices
  • Internet usage
  • Cell phone
  • Corporate email
  • Social media
  • Conflict of interest
  • Employee relationships
  • Fraternization
  • Employment of relatives
  • Workplace visitors
  • Solicitation and distribution

Employee Code of Conduct Guidelines

As an employee, it is your responsibility to maintain appropriate behaviour in the workplace. We have outlined our expectations here, understanding that we cannot anticipate every possible conduct scenario. However, we trust you to exercise your best judgment at all times. Please contact your manager or HR for any challenges or inquiries.

Dress Code Policy

Our company adheres to an official dress code, which may vary between Business, Business Casual, Smart Casual, or Casual attire. This includes specific items such as slacks, loafers, blouses, or boots. However, your position within the company may also influence the expected dress standards. For instance, a more formal dress code is expected if you frequently engage with clients or prospects.

We require employees to maintain cleanliness and avoid wearing unprofessional clothing, such as workout attire, while at work. Beyond these guidelines, we do not impose specific clothing or accessories expectations.

Furthermore, we respect and accommodate grooming styles, clothing choices, and accessories that align with religious beliefs cultural heritage, or accommodate disabilities.





Cybersecurity and Digital Devices Protocol

This segment focuses on digital practices within the workplace. We aim to establish guidelines for using computers, mobile devices, our internet infrastructure, and social media platforms to ensure security and safeguard our assets.

Internet Usage Policy

Our corporate internet connection is primarily designated for business purposes. However, occasional personal use is permitted, provided it does not disrupt your job duties. Furthermore, if requested, you are expected to temporarily suspend personal activities that may impede our internet connection, such as uploading large files or photos.

It is strictly prohibited to use our internet connection for the following activities:

  • Intruding upon someone else’s privacy or accessing sensitive data.
  • Transmitting confidential information to unauthorized recipients.
  • Downloading or uploading obscene, offensive, or illegal content.
  • Engaging in the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted materials, including movies, music, or software.
  • Accessing potentially hazardous websites that could compromise the security of our network and devices.
  • Participating in unauthorized or illegal activities, such as hacking, fraudulent actions, or the trafficking of illegal goods.

Cell Phone Usage

We permit the use of cell phones within the workplace, but it is crucial to ensure that these devices do not detract from your work or disrupt our environment. We kindly ask you to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Utilize your cell phone for work-related purposes, such as business calls, productivity apps, and calendars.
  • To minimize disruption to your colleagues, keep personal calls concise and relocate them to designated areas, such as empty meeting rooms or common spaces.
  • Refrain from excessive texting or gaming on your phone during working hours.
  • Do not use your phone while operating a company vehicle.
  • Avoid recording confidential information using your cell phone.
  • Refrain from downloading or uploading inappropriate, illegal, or offensive material using our corporate internet connection.

Additionally, it is imperative not to use your phone in areas where cell phone use is prohibited, such as laboratories.

Corporate Email Usage

Email communication plays a crucial role in our operations. Your company email should primarily be utilized for work-related correspondence, although limited personal use is permissible.

  • Work-related use: You are encouraged to use your corporate email for professional purposes without restrictions. This includes subscribing to newsletters and online services that contributing to your job or professional development.
  • Personal use: While using your email for personal matters is allowed, ensure the security of your account and refrain from spamming or disclosing confidential information. For instance, you may email friends and family and download safe content like ebooks and guides for personal use.

Our Expectations

Regardless of your email usage, we expect you to:

  • Avoid signing up for illegal, unreliable, or suspicious websites and services.
  • Refrain from sending unauthorized marketing content or emails.
  • Seek authorization before registering for services offered by competitors.
  • Abstain from sending derogatory or discriminatory messages.
  • Refrain from spamming your coworkers’ emails.

It is crucial to maintain solid passwords and remain vigilant against malware and phishing attempts in emails. If you receive an email that raises doubts about its safety, please consult our Security Specialists for assistance.


Social Media Usage

We aim to offer practical guidance to promote responsible social media use within our workplace, address personal social media usage, and represent our company online.

Personal Social Media Usage at Work

You are permitted to access your personal social media accounts during work hours. However, to maintain productivity, you must exercise responsibility and adhere to our policies.

Specifically, we request the following:

  • Exercise self-discipline to avoid distractions from social media platforms.
  • Clearly distinguish your account or statements from official representations of our company. For instance, include a disclaimer such as “opinions are my own” when expressing personal views.
  • Refrain from sharing intellectual property, such as trademarks, or confidential information without prior approval from your manager or PR team. This includes refraining from sharing company news that has not been officially announced.
  • Avoid posting defamatory, offensive, or derogatory content primarily directed towards colleagues, clients, or partners, as this may violate our company’s anti-harassment policy.

Representing Our Company on Social Media

When managing our social media accounts or communicating on behalf of our company, it is crucial to uphold and safeguard our organization’s image and reputation. To this end, we expect the following from you:

  • Maintain a respectful, courteous, and patient demeanour in all interactions.
  • Refrain from commenting on topics outside your area of expertise whenever feasible.
  • Adhere to our confidentiality and data protection policies and comply with laws pertaining to copyrights, trademarks, plagiarism, and fair use.
  • Coordinate with our PR or marketing department before sharing any content that has a significant impact.
  • Avoid deleting or disregarding comments without valid justification.
  • Promptly correct or remove any content that is misleading or false.

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest arises when your personal objectives diverge from your obligations to our organization. For instance, holding shares in a competitor’s company constitutes a conflict of interest.

In certain situations, ethical dilemmas may surface. For instance, accepting a bribe might yield financial gain but is unlawful and violates our business ethics code. Should such conduct come to our attention, it may result in termination of employment and potential legal repercussions.

Hence, conflicts of interest are a significant concern for all parties involved. We expect you to remain vigilant in identifying situations that could lead to conflicts of interest, whether personally or for those under your supervision.

Adhere to our policies and consistently prioritize the interests of our company. Avoid letting personal or financial motives interfere with your professional responsibilities whenever feasible. If you encounter an ethical quandary, do not hesitate to consult your manager or HR for assistance resolving the issue.


Employee Relationships

We aim to foster appropriate and harmonious employee relationships and have established guidelines to ensure professionalism.

Fraternization Policy

Fraternization encompasses dating or forming friendships with colleagues. In this context, “dating” refers to consensual romantic relationships and sexual encounters. Non-consensual relationships are considered sexual violence and are strictly prohibited.

Dating Colleagues

If you enter a romantic relationship with a colleague, you must maintain a professional demeanour and keep personal matters separate from the workplace. Additionally, you are required to show respect to colleagues who are in relationships. We do not tolerate sexual jokes, malicious gossip, or inappropriate comments. Should you witness such behaviour, please report it to HR immediately.

Dating Managers

To prevent allegations of favouritism, misuse of authority, and sexual harassment, supervisors are prohibited from engaging in romantic relationships with their direct reports. This restriction applies to managers at all levels above an employee. Furthermore, hiring managers cannot recruit their partners into their teams. They may refer them for employment in other areas where they do not hold managerial or hiring authority.

Workplace Friendships

Employees working together may naturally develop friendships within or outside of work. While we encourage these peer relationships as they can enhance communication and collaboration, we expect employees to remain focused on their work and resolve personal disputes outside of the workplace.

Employment of Relatives

We value hiring and promoting individuals based on their skills, character, and work ethic without bias or favouritism. We restrict hiring employees’ relatives to prevent nepotism and conflicts of interest.

Relatives are defined as individuals related by blood or marriage within the third degree to an employee, including parents, grandparents, in-laws, spouses or domestic partners, children, grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, step-parents, step-children, and adopted children.

As an employee, you may refer your relatives for employment with our company, with the following restrictions:

  • You must not have a supervisory or reporting relationship with a relative.
  • You cannot be involved in transferring, promoting, or hiring a relative within a reporting relationship.
  • You cannot participate in a hiring committee when your relative is interviewed for a position.

In cases where a relationship forms between a manager and a direct report after both are employed by our company, one of the individuals may be transferred to mitigate any potential conflicts.


Office Visitors Protocol

Before inviting a visitor to our premises, please seek approval from our HR Manager, Security Officer, or Office Manager. Additionally, notify our reception, gate, or front office of the visitor’s arrival. Upon arrival, visitors must sign in, provide identification, and receive passes, which they should return to reception, gate, or front office upon completion of their visit.

When hosting office visitors, you bear specific responsibilities, including:

  • Provide attentive supervision to your visitors, mainly if they are minors.
  • Restricting access for visitors to areas containing hazardous machinery, chemicals, confidential documents, or sensitive equipment.
  • Prohibiting visitors from evangelizing activities, soliciting donations, or soliciting participation in events while on our premises.

Individuals delivering orders, mail, or packages for employees should remain at the building’s reception or gate. If you anticipate a delivery, front office employees or security personnel will notify you for retrieval.


Solicitation and Distribution Policy

Solicitation refers to any request for money, support, or involvement in products, groups, organizations, or causes unrelated to our company, such as gathering petition signatures for religious promotion. Distribution involves sharing literature or materials for commercial or political purposes.

Non-employees are not permitted to engage in solicitation or distribution within our workplace. As an employee, you may only solicit from your colleagues in the following situations:

  • Seeking assistance organizing events for fellow employees (e.g., celebrating an adoption or birth, acknowledging a promotion, retirement).
  • Seeking support for causes, charities, or fundraising events our company officially sponsored, funded, organized, or authorized.
  • Inviting colleagues to participate in authorized non-business-related employee activities (e.g., recreational events, volunteering opportunities).
  • Encouraging colleagues to join employment-related activities or groups protected by law (e.g., trade unions).

Regardless of the circumstance, we request that you avoid disrupting or diverting colleagues’ attention from their work tasks.

Below is the Employee Code of Conduct Template


[Organization Name] Employee Code of Conduct

Policy Overview and Objective

Our company’s Employee Code of Conduct policy delineates our standards for employee conduct towards colleagues, supervisors, and the organization.

While we encourage freedom of expression and transparent communication, all employees must adhere to our code of conduct. This entails refraining from offending, engaging in significant disputes, or disrupting the workplace. Furthermore, employees must contribute to a well-structured, respectful, and cooperative work environment.

Applicability

This policy applies to all employees, irrespective of their employment terms or position within the company.

Elements of the Employee Code of Conduct Policy

What does an Employee Code of Conduct Policy consist of? Our company’s employees are contractually obligated to adhere to our Employee Code of Conduct while fulfilling their responsibilities.

Below, we outline the critical components of our Code of Conduct:

Legal Compliance

Employees are required to uphold our company’s legal standing. This includes adhering to environmental, safety, and fair dealing regulations. We expect employees to demonstrate ethical behaviour and responsibility in all interactions related to our company’s finances, products, partnerships, and public reputation.

Workplace Respect

Respect for colleagues is paramount. Discriminatory behaviour, harassment, or victimization of any kind is strictly prohibited. Employees are expected to adhere to our equal opportunity policy in all aspects of their work, including recruitment, performance assessment, and interpersonal interactions.

Protection of Company Assets

Employees must handle our company’s assets, both tangible and intangible, with care and respect:

Misuse of company equipment is prohibited.

  • Intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, and confidential information, must be respected and used solely for job-related purposes.
  • Employees are responsible for safeguarding company facilities and property from damage or vandalism whenever possible.

Professionalism

Integrity and professionalism are fundamental in the workplace:

  • Personal appearance must comply with our dress code and appearance guidelines.
  • Acceptance of gifts from clients or partners is discouraged, and bribery is strictly prohibited.
  • Job duties and authority must be carried out with integrity and respect for customers, stakeholders, and the community. Supervisors or managers are prohibited from abusing their authority, and duties should be delegated considering team members’ abilities and workloads.
  • Absenteeism and tardiness should be minimized, and employees are expected to adhere to their schedules, with exceptions made for circumstances preventing standard working hours.
  • Employees must avoid conflicts of interest that may compromise their ability to perform their job duties effectively.
  • Collaboration and friendly, non-disruptive behaviour are encouraged.
  • Open communication with colleagues, supervisors, and team members is essential.
  • Benefits: Employees should use employment benefits appropriately, without abuse or exploitation.

Familiarity with and adherence to company policies is expected, with questions directed to managers or the HR department.


Download

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Additional Information


Definition: A policy is a deliberate system of guidelines that guides decisions and achieves rational outcomes that affect an entity’s organization and operations. It is a statement of intent implemented as a procedure or protocol. Various entities, including a governance body, generally adopt policies.

Policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision-making. Policies used in subjective decision-making generally support senior management with decisions that must be based on the relative merits of several factors and, as a result, are often difficult to test objectively, e.g. discrimination policy.

Generally, governments and other institutions have policies in the form of laws, regulations, procedures, administrative actions, incentives and voluntary practices. Similarly, private entities deploy policies for internal and external protocol procedures to be followed. Frequently, resource allocations mirror policy decisions.

Refer to the relevant resources and documents to learn about policies and procedures.


Disclaimer: This policy template serves as a general guideline and should be used for the convenience of reference. It may not encompass all relevant local, provincial, or federal laws and does not constitute a legal document. Neither the author nor CanadaSmallBusiness.ca assumes any legal liability for using this policy.

Source: Canada Small Business



May 13, 2024