Skip to content.

How does your organization communicate its values, priorities and commitments to your workforce? Chances are, it’s through your code of conduct – but what state your code of conduct is in may open an entirely different can of worms.

In all reality, many organizations under-utilize their code of conduct. But, when used properly, a code of conduct is a powerful tool used to set the foundation for your company’s culture. So, let’s take a look at how we can clean off some of the proverbial dust from your code of conduct and explore ways to improve workplace culture through a meaningful and impactful code.

What should your code include?

It may be an uncomfortable truth, but many times a code of conduct is sent out to employees during onboarding, annually during a campaign, and then stored within the depths of the intranet.  Often, it’s a static, outdated and unengaging PDF document.

So, now that we’ve covered the common ways a code of conduct can underperform, it’s time to talk about ways your code can engage employees and be the valuable resource it’s meant to be.

The code of conduct for any organization contains a wealth of information. A non-exhaustive list of important items a code should cover include:

  • A letter from your CEO to set the tone from the top
  • An interactive table of contents for  easy navigation
  • Important and up-to-date contact details for your internal reporting hotline, human resources, benefits information, etc.
  • A statement of your company values and commitments
  • An overview on policies regarding employee conduct and behavior expectations
  • Information on paid time off policies

Code of conduct, but make it interactive

One way your organization can improve information retention is by creating a code that is engaging. This involves maintaining it with current information and branding, as well as adding interactive and searchable elements to encourage employees to delve deeper into the content.

One way this can be done is by creating a living, web-based code of conduct – a new subscription NAVEX is excited to now have available. With the newly released web-based code of conduct, not only is your code more user-friendly and easily accessible, the ongoing partnership also allows you receive quarterly analytics for engagement, in-depth reviews from experts, and updates based on best practice recommendations.

So, instead of a PDF that only surfaces during onboarding and annual campaigns,  it transforms your code from a static PDF into a dynamic resource, readily available to answer your employees’ questions and to provide analytics so you know when and what is being accessed. Talk about a win-win.

How can this impact culture?

An accessible, comprehensible and interactive code of conduct is the first step in the process of engaging your workforce. Engaged employees are more enthusiastic, collaborative, productive and profitable,  resulting in reduced absenteeism and turnover rates. To begin to capture its full potential, your code of conduct needs to consistently and accurately communicate your values, goals and purpose to all your employees.  This fosters a sense of connection and a shared mission.

However, if your code is outdated, inconsistently distributed, not easily accessed, or let’s just say it – boring – it probably won’t make the impact you want. So, if this post has you thinking about the state of your code of conduct, good! Perhaps it’s time to revisit your current code and better leverage this valuable tool. When the entire workforce understands your organization’s mission, values and expectations, it is easier to hold people accountable and all work towards a common goal.

There are many examples of what good looks like – and NAVEX is here to help develop an agile and interactive code of conduct that is customized for your organization. To learn more about the new web-based code of conduct and our other Code of Conduct solutions:

Explore NAVEX Code of Conduct

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is a code of conduct, and why is it essential for an organization?

A code of conduct is a set of guidelines and principles that outline expected behavior and ethical standards within an organization. It serves as a guide for employees to understand their responsibilities and how to maintain a positive workplace culture. Its purpose is to promote integrity, compliance, and accountability within the organization.

2. How often should a code of conduct be updated?

A code of conduct should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains relevant and aligned with the organization’s values and industry standards. An annual review is part of best practices, but it should also be updated when significant changes occur within the organization or its industry.

3. What should be included in a code of conduct’s statement of company values and commitments?

The statement should reflect the core values, mission and vision of the organization. It should articulate the company’s commitment to ethical behavior, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and any other values that are integral to the company’s culture and mission.

4. How can a web-based code of conduct benefit an organization?

A web-based code of conduct offers several advantages, including accessibility, interactivity and ease of updates. It provides employees with a user-friendly platform to access the code from anywhere, promotes engagement through interactive features and allows for real-time updates to keep it current.

5. How can an interactive code of conduct enhance employee engagement?

An interactive code encourages employees to explore the content actively. Ways to make your code of conduct more interactive includes clickable links, search functionality and multimedia elements, which make it more engaging and informative. This, in turn, can lead to better understanding and compliance with the code.

6. Can NAVEX assist in creating a customized code of conduct for my organization?

Yes, NAVEX offers customized code of conduct solutions tailored to your organization’s specific needs. NAVEX can help you develop an agile and interactive code that aligns with your company’s culture and objectives.