How you do something is more important than what you actually do. And in business “how you do it” can be communicated with a strong code of conduct.
Holstee, a brand that promotes kick ass products, sustainably made with a social impact and designs and curates with a conscience, offers a place for mindful shoppers to find meaningful products. They communicate that quite well.
A code of ethics and conduct for your business will help guide all of your decisions. It also creates a cohesive understanding of the boundaries within your company and the standards set for interacting with all consumers, partners, vendors and strategic alliances as well as shareholders. One of our favorite fashion companies, COS outlines their code of conduct in their supplier requirements for the world and their customers to see.
A formal, well-communicated code of conduct will also help to protect a company’s brand reputation. Starbucks has been doing this since the beginning and blogs about the way they do it too. And in today’s global economy, customers now more than ever, actively seek businesses that promise to produce, manufacturer and sell their products in an honest and ethical way.
Developing a code of conduct should be incorporated into your business plan right from the beginning with the help of all involved in the process.
Your code of conduct should emphasize your fair working conditions, the manner in which you use new materials and production procedures and distribute with methods that reduce the impact on the environment. Other key factors that should be incorporated into your code of ethics include how your company manages quality assurance, professional relationships, intellectual property rights, equality and discrimination.
To have a positive impact on its culture, a company must continually tailor its code of conduct to meet its particular needs and build community involvement. Levi’s waterless program is a perfect example of how to develop new ways to produce with inspired principles and generate the brand message to its audience in an exciting way. This ethics manifesto is not something that gets filed into the work cabinet or sits in a folder on your desktop. It is the basis for how you will grow your brand reputation.
Your code of conduct should be included in your company’s operational manual, overall business strategy, employee and vendor training program, and marketing collateral. Your code of conduct will only become stronger with annual reviews along with continual auditing and assessment through employee surveys and partner audits.