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What is a Code of Conduct in the Workplace?

Stakeholders are people within a workplace that have an interest in it. Stakeholders must be aware of the importance of the code of conduct in the workplace.

A Code of Conduct, in the workplace, is a set of rules that indicate the proper way to behave and act in the workplace. It is to be adhered to by both employers and employees. It gives all stakeholders a clear framework of expectations of behaviour.

Information contained within a Code of Conduct for the workplace includes:

Respect for diversity and identity

All stakeholders must show regard and consideration for all individuals, treating everyone equally and with dignity. Individual's race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion and levels of mobility are all to be accepted and respected. This means that the workplace should be free from harassment, discrimination and victimisation.

Responsible behaviour

All stakeholders are responsible for their own behaviour. All communication, both written and verbal, should be clam respectful and non-judgemental. If there is shouting or aggressive speech towards others then this would be considered a breach of the code of conduct as the person being shouted at may feel uncomfortable or intimidated. All written communication also should be respectful, professional and with a clear and concise message. It should avoid words that are all CAPITALISED as this can be interpreted as intimidated and shouting.

Appropriate dress code

This will vary depending on the job and will clarify if piercings, jewellery,emblems/badges or tattoos are acceptable. It will also include guidelines in smart/casual dress or business dress or sometimes, it may stipulate a uniform that must be worn.

Social media use

The using of social media during working hours is usually forbidden as it is seen as private and personal. What stakeholders post or share on their social media, even in their private time, may breach their code of conduct, particularly if it is negative about the workplace or offensive to others. Also, it is not unusual for employers to screen or look at stakeholder's social media accounts to view their activity.

Mobile phone use

In many workplaces, a mobile phone may be used for work purposes. However they are discouraged from being used when dealing with customers or in a meeting unless it is absolutely necessary. Therefore, if a stakeholder uses their mobile phone for personal and not professional purposes, they could be seen as being in breach of the code of conduct.

Maintaining confidentiality

All stakeholders are expected to accept and treat any information they receive through work in the strictest confidence. This means that what is discussed at meetings, in emails or in conversations with customers and/or other stakeholders should not be shared or discussed with anyone other than the those that are or need to be involved.

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