Recently, the increase of attention towards the activities of various companies has been noticed in many countries. Special attention is, consequently paid to the activities within companies being ethical both between company members and between companies and their clients. Nowadays, people are very concerned about the preservation of human rights and struggle with all kinds of discrimination; that is why ethical aspects of companies’ activities are under the scope. As a response to these processes, numerous companies develop and implement ethical programs for their staff in order to improve or preserve the positive image of the organization.
I, together with two of my friends decided to establish a company of our own that is going to present management consulting services to various non-profit organizations around the country. The total staff of our company is planned to amount to 20 employees whose activities are to be checked in respect of their being ethical. As far as the customers of our organization can pay for our services only from their special state budget funding, it was decided by us that an ethical program of the company’s activities will be necessary before the company is put into operation. Besides, we are well aware of the fact that ethical programs are very important for every modern organization; that is why such a program became one of the first steps on the way of launching the company to the market.
Code of Ethics
As the initial and basic part of the ethical program of our company, the code of ethics obligatory for all our employees will be developed. We are the company that pays much attention to our reputation, thus the code of ethics will be formulated in accordance with the ethical norms of society and in compliance with the current United States legislation at its local, state, federal and even international level. As far as our reputation is of great significance for our company, all our employees will be informed about the basic principles of the code of ethics and will be obliged to follow it and praised for reporting the cases of the code violations. Besides, copies of our code of ethics will be distributed to all workers; thus their obligation to follow it will be supported officially. Every department of our company will have a person specially appointed there as the head of this department whose function will be, besides all others, to assure that values of our company as stipulated in the code of ethics are familiar to the employees in this department and are followed. Another function of the head of each department will be to promote the values of the company and of human rights among employees by means of carrying out talks, seminars and presenting specific examples.
The very code of ethics will include numerous rules and restrictions for the communication and conduct of the company’s employees within the company and with the clients. The most important of the rules will be:
- Politeness is the only acceptable norm of communication;
- Political correctness should be kept to in all situations;
- Cooperation and mutual help between the employees of the company are the basic values;
- The company is oriented at development and assuring the welfare of its employees;
In order to gain and preserve the good reputation of our company as one with the high standards of ethical compliance, we will implement the special programs of training of our managers and other staff in order to ensure their ability to conform to the standards of our code of ethics. As well as any other reputable organization, w understand that world standards are subject to constant and very fast changes, that is why updating of knowledge and skills of our workers will be of primary significance for our company. So, to ensure that our code of ethics conforms to the most modern world standards, as well as to be confident about the knowledge and diligence of our employees in respect of fulfillment of all the rules of our company’s code, we will implement the following training procedures:
- Educational Courses for Employees, including:
- social studies;
- social ethics;
- principles of organizational culture.
- Practical Exercises that will be helpful to ensure the effectiveness of educational courses and to see the necessity of further training;
- Praise for the strict following of the code of ethics;
- Administrative punishment for violations of the code.
These training activities will be revised from time to time so that staff and their training supervisors could develop their skills in different spheres of ethical conduct in the business sphere. The training will not be a regular process, it will take place twice a year, or more often in case when severe and numerous code violations will be reported. Employees from the different departments will be gathered in mixed teams so that a representative of one department could exchange experience with other department representatives and thus develop the organizational culture of our company.
Finding, reporting, monitoring and elimination of misconduct in respect of code of ethics and overall company’s ethical program is the most difficult point in each ethics program. The ethics program of our new company is not an exception, so we will have to make a great effort to ensure the proper and timely fulfillment of all the requirements of our code of ethics by our employees. The main instruments of the monitoring of code of ethics violations will be:
- The Ethics Committee was established by the executive management of the company;
The Committee will consist of the Vice-President of the Company, Chief Executive Officer, and an independent supervisor not employed in the company. The basic functions of the Committee will be to control the distribution of copies of ethic codes among workers, their training and administrative punishment in case of any violations proven. The Committee will also process the data about the code violations reported by the employees in order to make respective decisions and notify the company’s president who will then make final decisions in the most difficult cases.
- Special policy under which employees will not be afraid or ashamed to report to the Committee the facts of the violations of the code and functional misconduct;
This policy should be conducted by the company in order to increase the effectiveness of misconduct monitoring tools. It should be able to defend the reporters from the possible revenge of the code violators or ensure their complete anonymity. This can be achieved by using the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the “whistleblower” protections stipulated by this document. Needless to say that absolute defense can not be guaranteed by any document or program. That is why another step to monitor ethic code violations and personnel misconduct will be the establishment of an open policy – the policy under which employees are in constant contact with managers and everything that takes place in the company can be controlled by respective managers without any direct reports from the staff.
- Effectiveness Measurement Programs.
They will ensure the strict compliance of the employees’ activities with the code of ethics of our company by giving information about the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of the performance of our company. These programs consider the efficiency of investing money in the funding of the company, adequacy of costs spent on personnel recruitment, ethical training and development.
Possible Improvements and Revisions
As far as our company is a new one, the code of ethics developed for its operation will be subject to numerous changes over time. It is not surprising because the world standards in ethics change, so do the legislation norms and normative acts, and the company will have to keep to the standards that will appear. Any revisions and improvements of the current ethical program and code of ethics of our company are possible only after they are considered by all personnel of the company, adopted by the Ethics Committee and finally decided by the President of the company. The changes and revisions of the current code of ethics should not contradict the current laws of the United States of America and be considered only in case of evident necessity. The staff of our company will be timely notified about all changes and supplied with copies of new ethic codes and programs to follow. All changes come in force at once after they are adopted and reported to the personnel of the company.