Myself and two other individuals have decided to start a company that will provide management consulting services to nonprofit organizations. Our company will be small with about 15-20 total employees. Since many of our clients will be paying from funds provided by government sources, we have decided that it would be appropriate to have an ethics program in place before we start offering services. The ethical failures of many companies, has caused increased attention on the actions of corporations and those who act on their behalf.
Many companies have responded by creating formal ethics programs to address to employees what actions and decisions are appropriate for working for the company. A functional ethics program is custom made for the company based on their values, company size and industry. Since the ethics code will guide the employees, their feedback and ideas should be considered during the creation process. The key stakeholders, such as the customers, suppliers and local community’s ideas will contribute more meaning to an ethics program.
Many organizations have great programs in place and using some of their ideas will benefit our company greatly. Of course an ethics program must make clear who will be governed by it, whether it’s the seniors officers or all employees. An ethics program must be put to practice, not to collect dust in a file cabinet, because an unused program is like false advertisement and reduces stakeholder’s confidence in your company. There are many vehicles in which to train and educate employees; Such as online for very large companies or conference room meetings for small companies.
An assessment or survey can measure if the employees grasp the value and meaning of company Code. A penalty and reward system should be in place for enforcement and to guide company ethics and values. In larger companies this duty may be assigned to a Compliance Officer or in a smaller company the President or Manager. Most companies have semi annual or annual refresher meetings for their ethical training programs. Of course all new employees must be educated and sign a Code agreement before starting their position. Companies ith good ethics programs in place are more respected, profitable, valued and less likely to be investigated by government regulators. While forming our ethical training program will considered all the above suggestions. Standards and Procedures Code of Ethics The Code of Ethics applies to all employees of the company including the Owner/President, VP, Manager and all employees. When faced with a situation that is not listed in the Code, ask yourself the following question: Is it legal or ethical? If in doubt please refer to the manager or don’t do it.
Be a teammate by collaborating and cooperating with colleagues. Government contractors must conduct themselves with the highest degree of integrity and honesty. Recognize the importance of being professional in word and in deed in the workplace at all times. Resolve disagreements in a professional manner and if necessary seek out mediation with management. Provide high quality services that align with our mission and the needs of the non profit companies we service. Be committed to make an impact on society and empower the communities in which we serve in ways like never before.
Employees please report all instances of unethical behavior to the VP/Compliance Officer upon discovery. Ethics Training Plan Due to the small size of our company our Ethics Training will be conducted in our conference room utilizing Power Point slides, employee assessments and role-play scenarios. Employees will be given an extended lunch period with each employee bringing a dish or item since we have a familiar work environment. The training will emphasize our company mission and remind all members of the company the importance of the Code.
After reviewing Code of Ethics, the Vice President serving as the compliance officer for our company will give employees a verbal quiz to enforce our Code. We want our employees to embrace the values and mission of our company to be a part of themselves. Employees will learn how the code protects them and the company from government law enforcement and lawsuits. The use of role play can teach employees how to use the code of conduct in everyday situations or potential problems that my arise.
All new employees will be immersed with the company Code individually with the Manager before commencing job duties. Monitoring System To further enforce our company’s ethical standards or code, we will observe our employees, get feedback from management regarding individual work ethic, conduct anonymous employee surveys and provide anonymous reporting via drop box system. Employees will be monitored randomly on how they handle ethically charged situations. All management reporting must be forwarded to the VP/Compliance Office quarterly.
Every three months we will place surveys into employees mail box for suggestions and/or feedback. The process will be done anonymously by using drop box with no name required to protect employees from retaliation. Review and Improve Plan Ethical situations always arise during the course of working for a company. Since we utilize the use of quarterly surveys for feedback and questions, we can better tailor our Ethic Training Program for our employees while being compliant with the law.
Using company-wide input we call conjure ideas to make the process fun and entertaining while protecting the company’s reputation of great service and employees. The Ethics training program will be conducted every six months and to new employees one-on-one. The VP can monitor the progress of the ethic programs from the management reports, surveys and role-play. The scope of the surveys will focus on employee rights, compensation, discrimination and legal compliance.
Management needs to be open to criticism and feedback during the training, while reviewing surveys and drop-box statements. Companies change over time and increase in size so the Code must be adaptable. Since we will also deal with many non-profit companies, our VP/Compliance Officer will also seek feedback from them midway and at the end of projects. We will measure our success buy keeping what works, acting on feedback and outcomes, while realizing that ethics training is new to our company, it requires reinforcement and may not take the first time around.