Why is code of conduct training important?

The importance of code of conduct training cannot be overstated for any business. It’s no secret that simply writing a code of conduct won't automatically change your company culture. You have to educate employees on what’s included in your code, how those elements apply to their day-to-day work, and what consequences they might face if there’s a code of conduct violation.

Training employees has many benefits. It helps to create a respectful workplace culture that prevents legal issues and conflict between employees. More importantly, code of conduct training presents an opportunity to show employees how much your organization values their contributions to building a better culture—which, in turn, can encourage greater employee retention. Let’s dig into the key reasons why code of conduct training is important.   

Code of conduct training builds a respectful company culture 

One of the most important reasons to provide code of conduct training is to help employees understand what your company’s values are and how to apply them in day-to-day work. Like all compliance training, the foundational purpose of this course should be to support your organization’s core values.

Educating employees on the values and ethical standards of your organization can also help with productivity. When people understand that doing the right thing can make their jobs easier—as opposed to worrying that they'll get in trouble if they don’t comply—they’ll be more likely to act ethically out of respect for their coworkers’ and employer’s time and energy. 

Leading code of conduct training with the importance of values and respect goes a long way. Without this element, it can be harder for employees to know how to best respond to certain work scenarios. This can lead to them spending more time thinking about what should be done instead of just doing it, which wastes time and energy. (You can try out the code of conduct training LRN offers here.)

Code compliance training helps resolve conflict between employees 

Code of conduct training is designed to teach all employees—including managers and senior leaders—about your company’s code of conduct as well as their ethical and legal responsibilities to each other and the wider organization. This not only helps prevent violations of the company code, but also helps resolve conflict between employees, ultimately maintaining an appropriate working environment for everyone. This is especially important if you work at a large company or at an organization with branches in multiple locations.

The more people learn how to resolve conflict in the workplace, the less likely they are to experience conflict in the first place. Here are some ways that code of conduct training can help: 

  • It shows employees examples of acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the workplace 
  • It provides examples of behaviors—e.g., harassment or discrimination—that violate company policies 
  • It offers tips on how to recognize different forms of misconduct and how to report them 

How a code of conduct training program can prevent legal issues 

Legal issues are expensive, damaging to company reputation, and time-consuming to resolve. Code of conduct training can prevent legal issues by clearly outlining your organization’s policies and expectations of behavior and decision-making. In addition, training can articulate what your company will or won’t do when it comes to handling a code of conduct violation. This ensures that all stakeholders—including managers, executives, contractors, and board directors—are properly informed of what is considered ethical and unethical behavior.

In fact, guidelines from the United States Sentencing Commission note that “the existence of an effective compliance and ethics program” can “mitigate the ultimate punishment of an organization” accused of wrongdoing. This means that companies that can point to mandatory compliance training are more likely to receive reduced penalties or fines if they’re being investigated or sued.

A key goal of code of conduct training for employees is to help people understand how to avoid code violations, thereby mitigating risk. The more they know about what can go wrong, the better equipped they will be to prevent it from happening at work. Some common areas to cover in code of conduct training include:  

  • Your company values and how to apply them at work  
  • Common code of conduct violation examples that can lead to legal issues 
  • How to prevent and report misconduct in the workplace 

Training makes employees feel valued, encouraging retention and performance 

Code of conduct training is more than a means to an end. It presents an opportunity for employees to feel valued and motivated. By taking time to conduct this compliance training, your company demonstrates a commitment to ensuring all employees know how to behave ethically and recognize misconduct in the workplace. A good code of conduct course will also encourage workers who may have previously felt excluded or marginalized in some way to speak up, sharing outlets where they can voice concerns and be heard by management.

To maintain a healthy and productive workplace, it’s important that employees feel safe and respected. Deploying code of conduct training can go a long way towards creating a culture of belonging, which in turn can encourage employee retention—a key metric for company culture. When workers are valued, they are more likely to stay in the company and improve their job performance.  

The key takeaway 

Code of conduct training is an essential part of any business, and its benefits are many. By outlining the values and behaviors that matter to your organization, training helps create an environment where everyone feels comfortable working together towards common goals. 

To learn more, try LRN’s code of conduct training for free or check out our collection of resources on creating an effective code.