Insuring ethical conduct in your franchise

The way that you and your staff conduct your general business practices at your CENTURY 21 Franchise is essential to the image and reputation that you hold within your community.  Conducting or turning a blind eye to unethical conduct in your workplace is highly unprofessional and depending on the situation, can cause serious problems for your business.

An effective way to ensure the ethical behaviour of all staff within your franchise could be to establish a clear code of conduct for your workplace.  A code of conduct generally expresses in broad terms the ethical requirements all staff must adhere to, without limiting their resourcefulness and purpose of being employed.  It is important when inducting new employees that they are informed about the existence of this code and that they recognise the necessity of having the personal attributes of honesty, sincerity, trustworthiness and impartiality. 

Once you have decided on the particular set of ethics that are important to your franchise, it becomes your responsibility as owner and/or manager to ensure that these principles are adhered to.  The effectiveness of implementing such a policy relies on all staff taking responsibility for their own behaviour.  However it is your duty to ensure that your franchise’s ethical standards are clearly communicated to all employees (perhaps in a physical form such as a manual), eliminating the potential for any misunderstandings.

There are many benefits to incorporating a strong code of ethics into your franchise.  They:

  • Encourage professionalism amongst staff, both inside and outside the office;
  • Build and enhance the respect of customers for your franchise;
  • Improve your franchise’s attractiveness to potential employees who wish to work in a professional environment;
  • Encourage strong and honest channels of communication within your workplace;
  • Reduce office gossip; and
  • Help to increase efficiency and profitability. 

It is important for employees to know that your franchise takes its code of conduct seriously and that there will be consequences if it is breached.  Depending on the nature of the breach, the method of reprimand is your choice and could include a performance review or disciplinary action.  Whichever way you decide to go, it is important to understand that any action you take may set a standard for future behaviour amongst other employees.   

In any case, it is important to reprimand or even terminate the employment of staff members that break the code of conduct in your franchise.  The unethical behaviour of even just one employee can cause serious, potentially irreparable, damage to your franchise’s reputation within the community.

Posted by George Tarbey on 07/02/2011 at 12:26 PM | Categories:

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