Vision And Purpose
As an organization, we are committed to integrity, honesty, accountability and exemplary standards of ethical conduct and behaviour within our workforce. This code of ethics will provide a description as to the expectations of this organizations towards its workforce and create an environment where all employees have a proper understanding as to the kind of behaviour that denotes ethical conduct and vice versa. It is our hope that the application of this code in to the norms that govern our workforce will result in the creation of a utopic environment for diversity, sharing of knowledge and innovation within our organization. It is also our hope that this code will provide our workforce with the necessary tools and confidence to confront difficult situations and or personalities within the organization, encourage reporting of unethical behaviour and eradicate the occurrence of situations where employees will be forced to compromise their integrity and or values (Carasco & Singh, 2003).
Members To Whom This Code of Ethics Applies
All members of the organizations are subject to the direction provided by this code. The fulfilment of the responsibility for ethical behaviour that is demanded by this code is the unwavering responsibility of every member of this organization. The demand for ethical behaviour and professional conduct must be taken seriously by all members of the organization as it forms the basis upon which the organization can aspire to maintain a favourable reputation and avoid the consequences of negative organization events. There will be no waivers of the consequences of unethical behaviour specified by the contents of this code to any member of the organization regardless of their position or rank and it is important for all employees to familiarize themselves with the guidelines provided by this code as they form part of the corporate culture that this organization aspires to attain in its workforce.
Core Values and Principles
- Integrity: All members of staff are expected to demonstrate and maintain the highest possible level of integrity in all matters involving the execution of their professional duties within the organization. Moreover, staff members are also expected to act in good faith, honesty and integrity and conduct themselves in a manner that is reflective of the ethical behavior prescribed by this code in their private lives especially in matters that may influence the external perception of the organization and lead to negative organization events.
- Accountability: Every member within this organization or affiliated to it is answerable for his/her actions, behavior and or decisions. Any undesirable events that should occur as a direct consequence of the actions of a staff member will be his/her sole responsibility. All staff members must, therefore, ensure that they always act within the scope of their authority and maintain adequate control over all matters that they have been entrusted with by the organization.
- Respect for diversity, dignity and equality of all persons: This organization is driven partly by the benefits provided for by a multicultural workforce. As such, this organization will have zero tolerance to any group and or individual within the organization that disrespects inculcates negative perceptions of individuals of different gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, disability status or creed. This organization maintains its commitment to its diverse workforce to provide a safe and secure working environment that is free of marginalization, negative stereotyping, discrimination and or harassment.
- Commitment to service delivery: This organization will support the generation of fresh perspectives and innovativeness through the provision of training opportunities for our workforce. In turn, our workforce is expected to maintain its commitment to the values, vision and mission of the organization through the exercise of professional competence, expertise and positive contribution to organizational programs and initiatives.
Guidelines For Ethical Behaviour
- All staff members are expected to conduct themselves in a decent, fair and honest manner.
- All staff members should inform themselves of the values and principles that govern professional conduct and uphold them.
- All members should maintain a commitment to the organization by working hard to fulfil their duties and responsibilities as stipulated in their job descriptions.
- All members should continually consider the interests of the organization first in all transactions that they undertake.
- All staff members are expected to corporate fully with all organizations, individuals or groups who are directly or indirectly affiliated with the organization.
- All members are expected to abide by the rules of conduct and encourage others to abide by these rules in order to create a positive organizational culture that this organization aspires.
- All staff members are encouraged to report any unethical conduct to the human resources department or their immediate supervisors.
Rules Of Conduct
- Discrimination and Harassment: No member of this organization shall knowingly participate in any act that discriminates against a fellow staff member or client on whichever basis or engage in a behaviour that is meant as a form of harassment toward a fellow staff member or client.
- Declaration of interest: Any staff member who has any interest in any matter relevant to his/her scope of work within the organization that may impinge his/her capacity to maintain impartiality in the delivery of service should declare this conflict to the organization.
- Disrespect: No member shall engage in any behaviour that displays a lack of common courtesy, decency. Respect for dignity or diversity. Any comment, insult through the use of actions or words that humiliates, disparages, denigrates or depreciates the value of a co-worker or client will be considered a violation of this code and will be liable for sanctions.
- Abuse of power and authority: No member of this organization shall use his/her power or authority to influence whether positively or negatively the outcome of any employment condition, create a hostile work environment through the use of threats intimidation, blackmail or coercion or any other action meant to undercut individual and organizational values and integrity.
- Personal conduct: All members of this organization shall maintain complete autonomy over their personal affairs. However, staff members should be aware that their conduct outside the workplace has the capacity to impact negatively upon the image of the organization and should take the necessary precautions. This is of particular importance especially with regard to; illegal practices, violent conduct, abuse of drugs and alcohol, domestic violence and intimate partner violence as well as intimate relationships within the workplace.
Ethical Enforcement Process
Allegations of breach of the code of ethics shall be made in writing to the human resources department. The department shall then respond to the witness in writing to acknowledging receipt of the allegations without delay. The department shall then inform the accused member of staff of the nature of the allegations and of the fact that he/she will be under investigation.
The department will then convene an ethics committee to conduct a thorough investigation of the claims whose members shall have no conflict of interest in the case beforehand. The committee will conduct its investigation promptly and report its findings, decision and justification for any sanction or dismissal of claims that will be applied.
The board of directors will then send the decision to the accused individual or group who will have a maximum of thirty days to appeal the decision of the committee. Upon receipt of the appeal, an appeal committee will be convened and the accused, witnesses and all other persons of interest will deliver testimonies.
The committee will then make its final decision on the matter which will not be subject to appeal from any of the parties.
Consequences Of Unethical Behaviour
The committee may impose one or several sanctions on staff members who are found to have engaged in unethical behaviour. Employees who engage in discrimination and harassment will be terminated from employment as per the direction provided by the organization’s zero tolerance policy on these actions. Other violations of unethical behaviour, depending on the degree of severity, as will be determined by the committee may be subject to; additional training, written warnings, paid leave, unpaid leave, termination and or legal action.
Ensuring Maximum Adherence To The Code
To ensure maximum adherence to the code of ethics by all staff members, the code must be instilled in to every level of the organization’s operation such that it becomes an integral part of the organization’s culture and is important to every member within the organization from top tier to bottom tier (Nicholson, 2008). This will ensure that the organization will not compromise the code of ethics through the employment of waivers that will encourage further unethical conduct within the organization (Elson & Gyves, 2003). Once individuals evaluate the stringent measure that will be applied to violations and see those sanctions being enforced they will comply with the code due to the risks associated with violating it. Moreover, inculcating the code of ethics into the corporate culture that governs the organization will ensure that the code becomes a social norm within the organization. The organization could also include the analysis of ethical conduct into employee performance evaluation mechanisms and reward exemplary ethical behaviour within its workforce. The organization could also provide regular training to remind employees why ethical conduct is important. Whistleblowers within the organization should be protected from prosecution, there should be prompt and effective investigations and disciplinary measures should be employed without discrimination or favouritism (Nicholson, 2008).