A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the social norms,religious rules and responsibilities of, and or proper practices for, an individual, In its 2007 International Good Practice Guidance, "Defining and Developing an Effective Code of Conduct for Organizations", the International Federation of Accountants provided the following working definition:
A common code of conduct is written for employees of a company, which protects the business and informs the employees of the company's expectations. It is ideal for even the smallest of companies to form a document containing important information on expectations for employees. The document does not need to be complex or have elaborate policies, but the file needs a simple basis of what the company expects from each employee.
A Code of Conduct can be an important step in establishing an inclusive culture, but it is not a comprehensive solution on its own. An ethical culture is created by the organization's leaders who manifest their ethics in their attitudes and behavior. Studies of codes of conduct in the private sector show that their effective implementation must be part of a learning process that requires training, consistent enforcement, and continuous measurement/improvement. Simply requiring members to read the code is not enough to ensure that they understand it and will remember its contents.
The proof of effectiveness is when employees/members feel comfortable enough to voice concerns and believe that the organization will respond with appropriate action.
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