Most companies have a code of conduct that they have put in place to help their employees and staff operate with ethics and integrity.
According to a recent story appearing on the HR Dive website, however, the LRN Corporation found that a third of the companies that they analyzed had codes of conduct that were below the standards issued by the US Department of Justice, the New York Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq.
LRN found that only 68% of the codes of conduct that they examined covered issues that included diversity, conduct on social media and data privacy. An estimated 67% covered codes within the organization, just half of those investigated addressed issues surrounding behavior and only 45% dealt with matters surrounding human rights. Less than half of the codes of conduct examined in the report discussed investigative procedures surrounding allegations of misconduct in the workplace.
LRN’s compliance advisor and the report’s co-author, Jim Walton said in a press release regarding the report, “When you give employees the tools to make the right decisions, you instill trust and reinforce your values.”
Workplace culture matters a great deal when it comes to workers and managers acting ethically. According to research conducted at the University of Wisconsin and San Diego State University, managers that have a strong sense of ethics and moral responsibility can do a great deal to influence the at-work behavior of workers.
The research also showed that organizations which have codes of conduct in place and with managers and employees who closely follow such codes experience far fewer incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct, disrespect and negative criticism and have a far less toxic environment than companies that have lax policies or codes of conduct which are not enforced through all levels of management and employees within the organization.