Do You Have a Code of Conduct in Business and at Work?


Earlier in my HR career, I authored my company’s Code of Ethics / Code of Conduct, which applied to everyone from entry-level employees to managers (and me) to the CEO and the Board of Directors.

A company’s Code of Conduct not only defines the stated values and culture of an organization regardless of sector (private, public, academic, nonprofit, etc.) and the behavior expectations for all of those stakeholders, it also compels each stakeholder to follow all applicable laws and regulations at the international, national, state and local levels. That covenant – that promise – to uphold the organization’s Code of Conduct is a condition of employment that each stakeholder commits to follow with their review of the Code and their subsequent signed acknowledgment. When followed, it’s the ultimate leadership compass, also minimizing risk and financial loss for the organization.

Following the firing of co-founder Harvey Weinstein this week from The Weinstein Company, a member of what remained of their Board stated that the Board of Directors determined Weinstein had violated the company’s Code of Conduct. Based on the mounting data and allegations of sexual harassment on the part of Weinstein over the years – and that sexual harassment is a violation of state and federal law – Weinstein’s subsequent dismissal for company Code of Conduct violations is not surprising. I would suspect it was also a learning experience for the Board, who had the ultimate oversight responsibility for Weinstein’s company conduct.

Do you have a Code of Conduct (and do all stakeholders commit to their responsibility to uphold your organization’s Code of Conduct) in business and at work?

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