As well as its content and format, the process for drawing up a code of ethics is critical in maximising its influence on business behaviour at all levels and in all functions.
1. Confirm endorsement from the Board
Corporate values and ethics are matters of governance. The board must understand the business case for high ethical standards and attention to integrity risk, and recognise their oversight role in assuring that the organisation lives up to its values.
The core element of an ethics programme will be a Code of Ethics.
The process for drawing up a code of ethics is critical in maximising its effectiveness.
A communications strategy for the ethics programme aims to raise awareness of the organisation’s values.
Ethics training raises awareness around the code, what is acceptable business practice and where support can be found.
Additional tools and mechanisms to keep the code alive and support staff to apply ethical values to the work they do.
The board needs to establish a programme of assurance to understand whether the organisation is living up to its ethical values.