A code of conduct defines how a company’s employees should act on a day-to-day basis. It reflects the organization’s daily operations, core values and overall company culture. As a result, every code of conduct is unique to the organization it represents. Yet many companies struggle with how to write a great code of conduct and, as a result, their codes fall short.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has published the code of conduct under the investor relations section of its website for current and future stakeholders to review. Google emphasizes the values it maintains and outlines a variety of important factors throughout the code of conduct. The document clearly states who must adhere to the standards set forth and how misconduct will be addressed.
. This theme acts as the foundation for every component of the code of conduct, including rules about the use of company assets, use of information, conflicts of interests and dealing with external stakeholders/partners. By embedding one of its core values into its code of conduct, Coca-Cola is able to demonstrate its strong commitment to the business standards it has developed.
begins by outlining the principles and values that Starbucks aims to uphold as a company. The document then dives into detailed descriptions of organizational expectations with respect to the work environment, business practices, intellectual property and community involvement. In many instances, the company indicates where or who employees can refer to for assistance or more information.
is published on the company’s investor relations website and available for download as a PDF. Though it does not contain images or visuals, the code is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. It covers important topics including conflicts of interest, harassment, confidentiality and protection of user data.
have been drafted around one central theme: trust. The company emphasizes that trust is an important aspect of its operations, including with customers, governments, fellow employees, investors and representatives. The code of conduct also offers a process to help employees make difficult decisions that reflect Microsoft’s values and standards.