The modern code of conduct - what to consider?
Not least because of globalization, common values and rules of conduct are increasingly coming to the fore. After all, all employees and managers of a company should act in accordance with the corporate culture - regardless of their own cultural environment or values. To achieve this, the Code of Conduct specifies how employees and managers should behave in a legally, ethically and socially correct manner - no easy task. It is therefore all the more important that it regulates all important aspects and brings the company-specific values into line with applicable laws. At the same time, the Code of Conduct is much more than just a collection of applicable laws and regulations - it is an expression of corporate social responsibility and is intended to provide the company's own employees with guidance for their day-to-day business activities, enabling them to identify risks at an early stage and effectively avoid undesirable actions.
Code of Conduct: A guideline for dealing with others and the environment
The starting point for the Code of Conduct are social, ethical and welfare standards that emphasize responsibility towards colleagues, but also towards society and the environment. These include human rights and the prevention of forced and child labor as well as equal treatment and equal opportunities and the prohibition of discrimination. The concrete content must be adapted to the respective needs and requirements of the company. This includes guidelines for both the performance of work activities and dealings with colleagues, customers and business partners. For example, the Code of Conduct sets out rules of conduct for promoting occupational safety and protecting health, and refers to the handling of personal data in line with data protection requirements and the importance of information security. It also regulates the handling of possible conflicts of interest or legal violations within the company. A modern Code of Conduct addresses not only corruption and money laundering, but also racism, discrimination and sexual harassment. It also sets out concrete guidelines for the use of social media and dealings with the press and external media.
A good Code of Conduct pays off
The requirements of a modern Code of Conduct should not be underestimated: For example, it should help define common values and pass them on to the company's own employees and managers, as well as to customers and business partners. Important: No distinction is made between managers and employees - the requirements of the Code of Conduct apply equally to all. Although the Code of Conduct is primarily a voluntary commitment on the part of the company, it also addresses the legal framework. As with all other policies and guidelines, compliance is checked by the Compliance or Legal department. Suitable reporting channels must be set up to enable possible violations to be reported. At the same time, the Code of Conduct should not be seen as a burden on the company and its employees - on the contrary: a modern Code of Conduct creates trust and transparency in dealings with colleagues, customers and business partners and can thus offer real added value for all stakeholders.
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