Code of Conduct


A Code of Conduct can range from Google’s short and sweet “Don’t be Evil” to a document outlining in precise language the behavior that is expected of employees or students .


What is a Code of Conduct?

A Code of Conduct is a reflection of an organization’s values. The best Code of Conducts outline expected behavior in clear and precise language and provide examples of conduct that is acceptable and examples of behavior that is not acceptable. Even Google goes on to explain that they are an Equal Opportunity Employer, that they have a drug policy and that they don’t accept harassment of any kind.


Who Should Be Given A Copy of a Code of Conduct?

A Code of Conduct should be given to new employees in their employee orientation. Their employment is contingent on their signing the Code of Conduct which is then put in their personnel file. As a Code of Conduct is modified employees should be required to read the revised document and sign it (either electronically or on paper) to let an organization know that they will adhere to the revised document.


An organization’s Code of Conduct should be posted on their website for their employees, business partners,the general public and for universities, prospective parents and students to see.  Verizon posts their Code of Conduct on their website and they state that they are “Pleased to share their Code of Conduct to let our customers and all of our business partners know that integrity and respect serve as the overarching principles for how Verizon conducts its business.”


What Types of Organizations Need a Code of Conduct?

  • Higher Education Code of Conduct: Colleges and universities need a Code of Conduct to govern the behavior of both faculty and staff.  In addition, many colleges and universities have a code of conduct for their students.
  • Small Business and Corporate Code of Conduct: Businesses of all sizes use a Code of Conduct to define acceptable and unacceptable employees behaviors.  Often, businesses will incorporate a statement on ethics and customer service standards into their Code of Conduct.
  • Nonprofit Organization Code of Conduct:  Not for profit organizations depend on donations from individuals, foundations and corporations for their survival.  Their supporters expect employees to act in accordance with the highest ethical standards and to be good stewards of their money.  A Code of Conduct outlines acceptable employee behavior and can be used to show donors that the organization has high expectations of their employees.



Why Hire An External Consultant To Write Your Code Of Conduct?

  • If your organization does not have a Code of Conduct or the current Code of Conduct is not effective hiring an external consultant will be helpful
  • Codes of Conduct are one time projects.  Once written, a Code of Conduct can be in place for years with very few updates.  Often organizations decide that it is more cost effective to hire a consultant with experience in writing a Code of Conduct rather than have to train an internal employee to complete the task.
  • Because an external consultant is not an employee they can be objective. 


Why Can You Trust Jackie Willey To Develop Your Code of Conduct?

  • You only pay Jackie for the hours worked on your project.  She will provide you with a log of the hours spent working on your Code of Conduct.
  • Jackie will write your Code of Conduct and develop processes for implementation and create work flows to help train employees.
  • The only cost to you is the cost of her time.  You don’t pay her benefits, you don’t provide her with a computer and you don’t provide her with permanent office space.
  • Jackie is able to draw on her unique background in project management, strategic planning, compliance, finance and document development to create an effective Code of Conduct.


Developing a Code of Conduct

Clark Atlanta University needed a Code of Conduct to govern the behavior of their employees.  I started the process by meeting with key members of the executive cabinet to determine the values and behaviors they wanted to re-enforce among the employees of the University including the faculty and staff.  Using the information I acquired in this meeting and working closely with the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer I developed a Code of Conduct, procedures on implementing the Code of Conduct and process flows to train employees on the process.
Jackie Willey


Jackie  is available for a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your Code of Conduct and help you develop the best strategy to meet your needs.