WHAT A COMPANY SHOULD DO TO PREVENT TOXIC BEHAVIOR IN THE WORKPLACE
Develop a code of conduct
This will help distinguish positive behaviors from behaviors that are denounced by the company. If a leader is abrasive and there is a code of conduct defining abrasive behavior, it is easier for the boss of the abrasive leader to address the misconduct.
The mission indicates the company’s direction and purpose. The values indicate what the company stands for and what employees should never do to get more business or a client i.e. bribing or threatening a person’s life. The code of conduct is HOW the company wants to reach their mission.
International Federation of Accountants provided the following working definition: “Principles, values, standards, or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of an organization in a way that (a) contributes to the welfare of its key stakeholders, and (b) respects the rights of all constituents affected by its operations.”
Write up the behaviors the company expects from its employees. For example, focus on the following behavioral areas:
- Generate general expectations regarding employee’s behavior
- Write up expectations regarding leader’s behavior
- List inappropriate and/or unethical behavior.
- Describe different types of conflict of interest
- Write up principles to abide to with outside employment, activities and directorships
A code of conduct should be concrete to serve as a guide for employees but not too specific to cause employees to feel controlled, resentful and micromanaged. However, a vague code of conduct is not helpful to an employee in a quandary.
Employees and stakeholders should be consulted when crafting a code of conduct to be sure that it addresses what they are facing at their level and within their function.
The company’s top leaders need to communicate to stakeholders and employees the code of conduct’s importance so it does not remain wishful thinking.
Every year companies make their budgets with their desired objectives, with their projected revenues and costs. Identifying the desired state is common practice. The WHAT companies want is identified in the beginning of the year and what strategies shall be used to reach those objectives is also part of the process. However, less usual is how leaders should lead their team’s toward those objectives and what behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable.
KEY QUESTIONS REGARDING A CODE OF CONDUCT
- Do you have a code of conduct in your company?
- Does your code of conduct address appropriate and inappropriate leader behavior?
- How is this code of conduct communicated throughout the organization?
- What happens if someone violates the code of conduct?
- Who is responsible for enforcing the code of conduct?
Having a code of conduct is one way to help reduce toxicity in the workplace, what other tips and suggestions do you have? I would be delighted to read your comments below.