Code of Conduct Examples In the Workplace (Definition and Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies in a variety of industries have a code of conduct outlining how team members may interact and behave while at work. By setting rules and expectations, team members know how to act at work and can be more successful in their roles. HR professionals and managers may consider several things to write a well-rounded code of conduct. In this article, we discuss what a code of conduct is, why it's important and explore the types and examples of code of conduct.

What are code of conduct examples?

A code of conduct is a set of rules or policies both employers and team members adhere to. These policies outline how the staff can interact with one another in the workplace. Code of conduct examples are samples you can review to help you create a code of conduct during your HR or management career.

Companies usually outline their code of conduct in their handbook, though their human resources (HR) department may also provide new hires with training materials to help them learn and understand the code of conduct. Each organisation has different policies outlined in its code of conduct. Some companies have a strict implementation of their code of conduct, while others are more relaxed following these rules.

Related: 10 Steps on How To Take Initiative in the Workplace

Why is a code of conduct important?

Companies create a code of conduct to make sure everyone in the workplace can feel comfortable. When professionals treat each other with respect, they can prevent conflicts and work together in harmony. Here are a few reasons why it's important for organisations to have a code of conduct:

  • It demonstrates an organisation's values: When an organisation posts its code of conduct on its website or social media pages, stakeholders, clients and potential job candidates can learn more about the company's morals, values and ethics.

  • It provides guidelines for behaviour: A clear set of expectations and rules can help team members determine what behaviours are appropriate for work. This way, they can establish better relationships with their coworkers.

  • It ensures adherence to the law: A code of conduct usually addresses issues in the workplace, such as harassment. If a professional adheres to the organisation's policies, the company can ensure that team members are acting within the confines of workplace laws.

  • It boosts team morale: When individuals treat each other equally and with respect, everyone can feel more satisfied with their workplace. This can help companies retain and attract more potential team members.

  • It measures a professional's success: Managers can better measure the success of their team members when they establish a code of conduct. Within their policies, managers and leaders can discuss all the rules and regulations of the workplace.

Related: Guide to Smart Casual Attire in the Workplace

Types of code of conduct

There are several types of code of conduct that an organisation can include in their handbook. Here are some of the most important areas employers may address:

  • Use of technology: This outlines the restrictions and rules staff can follow regarding the company's devices, internet connection, software and network.

  • Use of company property: The aim of this policy is to make sure that all team members keep the company's property, such as copy and fax machines, in the best possible working condition and to make sure proper use of such property.

  • Confidentiality: This is one of the major components of a company's activities, which can help to prevent or avoid the risks of confidential data leakage.

  • Bullying: The aim of the anti-bullying policy is to make sure that team members can perform their duties in a safe, caring and supportive work environment without fear of being bullied.

  • Harassment: A harassment policy makes it clear that the company doesn't tolerate any form of discrimination and sets expectations and standards for behaviour. This policy usually outlines the types of behaviour that are harassing or discriminatory and sends the message that the company takes these issues seriously.

  • Conflicts of interest: This refers to any situation where a professional's personal interest contradicts the interest of the organisation they work for. The conflict of interest policy bounds team members to act in the interests of the company and not for their own personal gain.

  • Staff break policy: While the law doesn't require breaks, many employers choose to give them because of their many benefits, such as increased work performance and productivity.

  • Leave policy: This sets out the rules and regulations related to various types of leaves that team members can have, such as a holiday, maternity, sickness and grief, and it also specifies rules for various aspects such as granting of leave, availing, eligibility and encashment. The leave policy can reflect the organisation's culture and professionalism through its tone, language and friendliness quotient.

  • Tardiness or absenteeism: Punctuality is important for any company, and making sure that team members arrive and leave the workplace on time is essential for the company's performance.

  • Dress code: This is a set of rules about appearance and clothing in the workplace.

  • Staff behaviour: This refers to how staff members respond to specific situations or circumstances in the workplace.

  • Company's values: These are the standards or core values that guide the way a company does business. They summarise what the company stands for, influences the company culture and drive how and why they do things.

  • Plagiarism policy: This policy aims to prevent damage to the company's reputation.

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Code of conduct examples

When managers and HR professionals write their code of conduct, they usually consider the well-being of all their team members. This way, everyone feels respected and treated fairly in the workplace. A quality code of conduct can help facilitate a better company culture, which can lead to happier team members. Here are a few examples of code of conduct:

Example 1: Use of technology

Here's an example of a code of conduct regarding the use of technology:

"During working hours, the company only allows staff members to use technology such as cellphones, social media or the internet for personal use while on break. When posting company-related content on social media, team members must express they are posting on behalf of themselves and not the company. The opinions they express should be respectful of the company. If a team member has a comment or concern about the company, it is best they bring it up to their manager or human resources rather than posting it online."

Related: What Is a Good Attitude at Work and 10 Ways To Improve Yours

Example 2: Plagiarism

Here's an example of a code of conduct regarding plagiarism:

"At our company, we value giving credit when credit is due. Team members shall only take credit for their own original work. When using other resources, staff must use proper citations to give credit. Our company follows the AP Style Guide for in-text citations. Please refer to the AP Style Guide Handbook on the company's website if you have any questions."

Example 3: Dress code

Here's an example of a code of conduct regarding dress code:

"Our company's dress code is laid back most days. Staff members are free to wear jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts and leggings that are not see-through. Of course, if team members wish to wear business casual attire, the company encourages them to do so. Please wear appropriate clothing free of swears, crude statements and references to illegal substances. Also, avoid clothing with rips, tears or holes.

When a client or investor is visiting the office, the company informs the staff about any dress code changes ahead of time. Usually, in these instances, we ask that staff members wear business casual attire. This includes nice slacks, khakis, formal skirts and dresses, button-down shirts, nice blouses and closed-toe shoes."

Example 4: Staff break policies

Here's an example of a code of conduct regarding staff breaks:

"Staff members can take a paid 30-minute lunch each shift. They can choose to extend their lunch break to an hour, but they must clock out for the second half an hour. Staff members working a shift of over eight hours or more also receive two 15-minute breaks. They must take one 15-minute break a few hours before their lunch break and the other should be taken in the hours after lunch.

We ask that staff members communicate with one another about when they are taking their breaks, so there is always someone available to customers. Team members are free to take their breaks in the lunchroom or outside of the premises. If team members ever feel like they need additional breaks, they should communicate this to their managers."

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