Employee Conduct

First published on Thursday, Jun 04, 2020

Last updated on Friday, Jun 07, 2024

The way your employees conduct themselves is a key part of running a successful business. The effects of misbehaviours at work shouldn’t be ignored.

Failure to manage employee conduct correctly can lead to a decrease in staff morale, productivity, and an increase in employee turnover. The last thing you want to be doing is losing staff due to their conduct.

In this guide, we’ll discuss why staff conduct is important, how to create a successful code of conduct and how to discipline when required.

What is employee conduct?

Employee conduct is the way that an individual behaves in particular circumstances. The way someone is expected to behave changes in different situations.

For example, your employees will behave differently in the workplace than they would do if they were on vacation with their friends.

Why is employee conduct important?

Managing employee conduct is a major factor in the smooth running of your business. You need to be able to manage staff who are behaving against the code of conduct you have set in place.

If you have a member of staff who is a constant disruption, this could have a negative effect on other employees. By setting out a clear employee code of conduct, it makes it easier to discipline them and take the appropriate action.

What is an employee code of conduct?

An employee code of conduct is a company code of conduct for employees. In simple terms, it sets out your expectations and what behaviour is acceptable in the workplace.

Make sure your employee conduct agreement is included in your employee contracts and signed by both parties before employment starts.

What should you include in your employee code of conduct?

To make sure your code of conduct is effective for your staff, make sure you cover the following areas:

  • The required dress code.
  • Your policies surrounding leave, vacation, and sickness.
  • How to report any misconduct.
  • Disciplinary procedures.
  • Break entitlements.
  • Use of technology and company property.
  • Illegal activities such as corruption, fraud, and plagiarism.

Why should I have a code of conduct in the workplace?

There are many reasons why having a code of conduct is important:

  • It provides guidelines on acceptable employee behaviour and sets a clear standard of what’s expected.
  • It illustrates your company’s ethos, values, and culture. A code of conduct establishes how potential customers can expect to be treated.
  • Boosts employee morale and productivity as well as reduces employee turnover.

How should I discipline employees over their conduct?

You should have clear disciplinary procedures surrounding employee conduct in the workplace. Depending on the case, there are different forms of action you can take:

  • You could issue a conduct letter for an employee. This written warning is the next step following a verbal warning. This letter should cover the behaviour in question, your concerns, and the next steps.
  • You could bring up an employee’s poor conduct in the workplace during their performance review. This one-to-one meeting is a great opportunity to try and find the root of the problem. A performance improvement plan should be implemented.
  • If the above fails to solve the problem, you may have to terminate their employment.

This should be your last resort. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Is employee conduct outside the workplace important?

Employee conduct outside the office is also important. Although you can’t expect employees to behave the same outside of work, there’s still a way to behave that’s expected.

Their behaviour outside the workplace may reflect negatively on you. For example, if they’re representing you at a company event.

You need to assess the impact of their behaviour before deciding to discipline them.

If their actions have a direct impact on their colleagues, this could affect workplace morale and create cause for conflict.

It’s important to consider the effects of not disciplining them. Not taking action after the event, could lead to your business’s reputation being tarnished.

Get help with your employee conduct today with BrightHR

Having an employee code of conduct is extremely important. You need to make it clear to your employees what’s expected of them during work hours. Failure to do so could lead to a dip in employee morale and productivity.

If you need assistance with your employee conduct, BrightHR has a useful tool that will make the whole process easier for you.

Our HR document storage tool allows you to store your employee code of conduct policy, and other HR documents, on the cloud for you to make changes whenever required.

Contact us on 18882204924 or book a demo today.

Alan Price

CEO, BrightHR and Group Chief Operating Officer

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