Codes of ethics, values and behaviours are statements of general principles that a particular organisation has agreed are essential to the way it operates in order to be successful and sustainable in what it does.
Why is it important?
A code of ethics, values and behaviours provides the basis for an ethical culture to develop in which people learn to think well, make good decisions and behave in a way which is aligned with your organisation’s short and long term strategic needs. In an external environment that is constantly shifting and changing, your statement of values is the one constant for your people. It is a fixed point of reference which provides confidence and resilience no matter the context, circumstances, or geographical location.
Codes operate to support legal imperatives and an organisation’s policy framework locally and cross culturally in different legal jurisdictions. When effectively implemented, they operate to develop individual thinking skills in a way which alleviates the need for more rules. People know what is required of them, wherever they are, and whatever they are doing, throughout the organisation. A strong ethical culture, supported by a clear and comprehensive statement of an organisation’s important values, is the most effective risk management tool it can have and provides the platform for positive growth and performance!
What do you get?
With the development of any code, it is important to remember that the process of development is just as important as the code itself. Your organisation’s values should not be imposed from outside but should emerge from within – from your leaders and people in the context of your organisation’s business environment and its strategic objectives.
The Walton Group facilitates this process to get people thinking and talking, the first step in growing the awareness that shifts attitudes and performance at all levels. Our experience shows that the more you engage people with the ‘why things should happen,’ the more likely the are to accept the ‘how things should happen!’ This process culminates in a draft of a code which is taken back to the organisation for further discussion and approval. Final copy and alignment is made with all of your systems and processes; ensuring that it is thoroughly embedded in your organisational consciousness at every level.