Business Operations & Conduct Guide

Individuals responsible for the recruitment and hiring of employees hold incredible power. Having this power, together with unlimited freedom, could result in various levels of corruption. To prevent this from happening, the U.S. government actively investigates the hiring practices of companies. This ensures there is no violation of corruption laws. Each state has different laws abiding by corruption and employee conduct. To enable employees ease of access to the information in the rules that apply to them, each employee receives an employee handbook. Within this handbook, the laws then fit within the policies that the company stands for. The employee handbook includes a code of conduct, which should have the following basic categories: -

  1. Expectations – This will share a clear and detailed outline of expectations from all stakeholders of the company. This also ensures that employees are legally compliant with the outlined business operations. Expectations ensure that ethics and standards are well maintained.
  2. Policy on Whistleblowing – This outlines how to raise a concern without fear or issue of retaliation. It should include a detailed complaint procedure as well as for instructions on how to reach out anonymously.
  3. Human Rights – Provision of specific employment practice standards that outline health, safety, wages, benefits and more to protect the employee’s human rights.
  4. Drug policy – This section in the handbook should clearly outline the drugs and alcohol policy within the workplace, and what is prohibited. Drug screens procedures are also in this section, as well as how often the screening will take place. Within this section as well, it is common to find definitions of what constitutes violence or weapons in the workplace.
When companies create rules, policies, and codes of conduct, it makes it easier to notice when rules are broken. Legally, it must be possible for employee complaints and disputes to be shared when necessary. With complaints, there are steps to follow. The first is being able to report to a direct line in senior management, or where appropriate, to make an anonymous report. Making complaints should be possible both internally and externally for the business.

Employee Conduct with Electronic Equipment

Employees today are connected to the internet to enable them to carry out their work and meet high standards. The internet has information that is both useful and distracting for the employee. An electronic use policy must be put in place to ensure that there is a guideline on how employees should treat electronic company equipment. The guideline will also include the rules of using electronic equipment that belongs to the company, as well as what an employee may use personally.

Non-Compete Agreements

High-level management, as well as employees that have access to confidential information, may be required to sign non-compete agreements. These ensure that the employee is prevented from competing with the company in their next position, whether they choose to work with a competitor or create their own business. This offers the protection of sensitive information. Employees are responsible for reading and understanding all the details within hr company policies and the code of conduct. Managers are custodians of these documents and need to lead by example to ensure that there is proper compliance. In addition to offering legal protection to the company, having the right documentation in place also provides security and control to the employee.