Leaders of every organization must behave ethically in order to promote business success. The code of ethics acts as a guidance to both leaders and employees about what an organization considers moral and immoral. In addition, organizations need to engage in socially responsive activities that will enable them to do things that bring about positive impacts to the community, consumers, and employees (D’Amato, Henderson and Florence, 2009). This paper examines the code of ethical conduct of Cheesecake Factory. The paper will address the key area of Cheesecake Factory that are of significant importance to the business, as well as the key steps that the company should take to ensure that all workers follow the code of ethical conduct. The paper will also include suggestions of three ways in which Cheesecake Factory can engage in socially responsive activities in the community within which it operates.
Founded in the 1940s, the Cheesecake Factory continues to supply more than 20 varieties of cheesecakes throughout Michigan. For more than 70 years, the company’s code of ethical conduct has guided the behaviors of corporate leaders and the manner in which they address problems. There are twelve different areas of the code of ethical conduct that are of significant importance to the success of Cheesecake Factory. The Cheesecake Factory supports a relationship of honesty, trust, responsibility and loyalty among employees at all levels. This policy helps to create a good working environment for all types of workers. In addition, Cheesecake Factory expects all members of staff to comply with local, state, and federal laws at all times. This way, the company ensures a smooth flow of operations free from government interference. Again, all employees at Cheesecake Factory are expected to avoid situations that may create a conflict of interest with the company. This policy helps to ensure that every employee is dedicated to the company and works hard to assist the company realize its objectives (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated).
Cheesecake Factory prohibits solicitation of non-company related services, goods, personal or company’s beliefs and philosophies during working hours. Since Cheesecake factory understands the importance of good customer relations to its business, it believes that non-solicitation will help it to build a strong relationship with both existing and potential customers. Cheesecake Factory expects all former members of staff to stay away from disparaging the company in an attempt to discredit it. This policy helps Cheesecake Factory to ensure that positive growth without interference from former employees. There are certain types of information that every company may wish to keep private and confidential. Cheesecake Factory requires all its employees to protect the company’s confidential information. This policy will help the company to secure its confidential information for effective performance, especially if the information in question concerns new competitive strategies that it wants to implement (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated).
Cheesecake Company also prohibits “insider trading” as a way of ensuring protection of its common stock. In addition, the company restricts all its employees from posting messages about the company on chat rooms or internet message board. In this manner, Cheesecake Factory ensures that its confidential or sensitive information is secure. Cheesecake Factory’s code of ethical conduct also prohibits employees against short selling, requires all workers to protect its assets, expects employees to communicate and cooperate, and expects all supervisors to conduct themselves in a professional manner regardless of whether they are on duty or not (The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated).
In order to ensure that all employees follow the company’s code of ethical conduct, Cheesecake Factory must remember to follow six distinct steps. Step one involves seeking management support by mobilizing supervisors and senior managers who will encourage employees to apply the set policies. Step two involves explaining the meaning of different policies to employees to promote strong awareness (NSW Industrial Relations, 2015). In step three, Cheesecake Factory will have to put all the policies in writing and make them public. The policies should be written in a simple language that can be understood by all employees. Step four involves intensive training where all policies are discussed and made relevant. After training, the code of ethical conduct should be made available to all employees. In step five, Cheesecake Factory should allow employees to apply all policies throughout the organization as it identifies any potential breaches for immediate action. Step six involves regular evaluation and review of existing policies to identify those that should be changed and those that should be retained (NSW Industrial Relations, 2015).
For Cheesecake Factory to become socially responsive, it needs to engage in three different activities in the community within which it operates. Like many restaurants, Cheesecake Factory normally has food products that have not been used for one reason or another. One activity that will show that Cheesecake Factory is socially responsive is that, it can donate food to various shelters and local food banks. In addition, the company can offer free meals to children homes on public holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Another activity that can make Cheesecake Factory to become socially responsive would be to assist a local organization to raise money for expansion. This will show that the company is able to give back to the community within which it operates (D’Amato, Henderson and Florence, 2009).