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Business Ethics

4 of the Best Company Code of Conduct Examples


Jan 05, 2016

code of conduct examplesA company’s code of conduct covers major legal, ethical and compliance risk areas to help guide employees to make the right choices—even when they’re not easy.

Because it contains such important information, you want to make sure your employees read and engage with your company’s code of conduct. That’s why it needs to contain detailed information with any troublesome legalese.

So to help your company get a jump-start on yours, we’ve compiled some examples of really great company codes of conduct.

1. Google’s Code of Conduct

One thing that’s great about Google’s code of conduct is that it’s easy to read. You don’t need a law degree to understand what the company is saying. The tone is conversational, yet they make the points that need to be made with authority.

It’s also easy to find online. The links to different sections are easy to navigate and the answers provided are thorough and detailed. Finally, it addresses many of the issues that should be covered such as retaliation, conflicts of interest, bribery and confidentiality.

2. Hershey’s Code of Conduct

Hershey’s code of conduct is very similar to Dell’s in that it also uses the question and answer feature to help employees navigate potentially unethical situations. There are also questions and answers on almost every page, which helps to clarify the points being made.

Also, the design of the PDF is very appealing. The use of candy and chocolate colors helps to brand the code of conduct, while the bold headlines, hierarchical fonts and multiple colored fonts make the document easy to read.

3. Pepsico’s Code of Conduct

Pepsico’s code of conduct is extremely detailed. For example, in the section on business gifts, they say exactly what’s considered a gift, and they even provide a specific dollar amount.

Pepsico also encourages employees to speak up when they see or experience unethical behavior. To make it easy for employees to follow these policies, the code of conduct gives clear instructions on reporting, provides resources for who to contact and explains what will happen once a complaint is filed.

4. Starbucks’ Code of Conduct

One of the interesting things about Starbucks’ code of conduct is the environmental commitment in the section on community involvement. It shows that a code of conduct isn’t simply limited to discouraging negative behaviors. In fact, it can help affirm the positive things about your company culture.

Additionally, Starbucks has a frequently asked questions section. This section goes over the purpose of the code of conduct and provides additional information on a helpline services offered to employees for questions. 

Training on Your Company’s Code of Conduct

 These are great examples of well-written company codes of conduct. But it’s not enough to just have one. The things written inside it are extremely important. So to help your employees understand the information, you can offer code of conduct training.

The training should go over each section and enhances your employees’ ethical problem-solving skills so that they can navigate any conflicts or situations that might arise. 

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