Code of Ethics
Policy brief & purpose
Blogging Big Blue’s professional code of ethics policy aims to give our employees, interns & contractors guidelines on our business ethics and stance on various controversial matters. We trust you to use your better judgment, but we want to provide you with a concrete guide you can fall back on if you’re unsure about how you should act (e.g. in cases of conflict of interest). We will also use this policy to outline the consequences of violating our business code of ethics.
This policy applies to everyone we employ or have business relations with. This includes individual people such as employees, interns, volunteers, but also business entities, such as vendors, enterprise customers or venture capital companies.
Note that our code of ethics is slightly different than our code of conduct (see the next page). Code of conduct may include elements such as dress code and social media use, whilst our code of professional ethics refers to legally or morally charged issues. Still, these two codes do overlap.
What is meant by code of professional ethics?
First, let’s define professional ethics: they are a set of principles that guide the behavior of people in a business context. They are essential to maintaining the legality of business and a healthy workplace.
So what is a code of ethics? Our code of ethics definition refers to the standards that apply to a specific setting – in this case, our own organization.
What is the purpose of a professional code of ethics?
Having our business ethics in writing doesn’t mean that we don’t trust our employees. We strive to hire ethical people who have their own personal standards, so we expect that a written code won’t be necessary most of the time.
But, it can still be helpful. You may find yourself in a situation where you’re not sure how you should act. Some professional ethics also correspond to laws that you absolutely must know to do your job properly, so we will mention them in our code of ethics.
Additionally, every organization makes bad hires every once in a while. We also can’t predict how people are going to behave. When an employee behaves, or intents to behave, in a way that’s against our professional ethics, or applicable laws, we will have clear guidelines on what disciplinary actions we will consider.
For these reasons, we advise you to read this document carefully and consult with your manager or HR, if you have doubts or questions.
The components of our code of professional ethics:
We base our business code of ethics on common principles of ethics.
- Respect for others. Treat people as you want to be treated.
- Integrity and honesty. Tell the truth and avoid any wrongdoing to the best of your ability.
- Lawfulness. Know and follow the law – always.
- Teamwork. Collaborate and ask for help.
Here’s a more detailed overview of our code:
Respect for others
It’s mandatory to respect everyone you interact with. Be kind, polite and understanding. You must respect others’ personal space, opinions and privacy. Any kind of violence is strictly prohibited and will result in immediate termination. You’re also not allowed to harass or victimize others.
What constitutes harassment or victimization? To answer this, we have a policy on harassment and a more specific policy on sexual harassment you can take a look at (check the following pages for both policies). As a general rule, try to put yourself in someone else’s place. How would you feel if someone behaved a specific way to you? If the answer is “I wouldn’t like it much” or “I would never let them behave like that to me”, then we don’t tolerate this behavior no matter the person it comes from.
If someone, be it customer, colleague or stakeholder, is offensive, demeaning or threatening toward you or someone you know, report them immediately to your manager. You can also report rudeness and dismissiveness if they become excessive or frequent.
Integrity and honesty
First, always keep in mind our organization’s mission. We all work together to achieve specific outcomes. Your behavior should contribute to our goals, whether financial or organizational.
Be honest and transparent when you act in ways that impact other people (e.g. taking strategic decisions or deciding on layoffs). We don’t tolerate malicious, deceitful or petty conduct. Lies and cheating are huge red flags and, if you’re discovered, you may face progressive discipline or immediate termination depending on the damage you did.
Stealing from the company or other people is illegal. If you’re caught, you will face repercussions depending on the severity of your actions.
Conflict of interest
Conflict of interest may occur whenever your interest in a particular subject leads you to actions, activities or relationships that undermine our company. This includes situations like using your position’s authority for your own personal gain or exploiting company resources to support a personal money-making business. Even when you seemingly act to the company’s advantage, you may actually disadvantage it.
If it turns out you have created a conflict of interest for yourself, you will be terminated. If you are unsure if something is a conflict of interest you must consult with your manager and they will advise you accordingly.
You are obliged to follow all laws which apply to our organization. Depending on your role and profession, there might be various laws you need to observe.
Following laws regarding fraud, bribery, corruption and any kind of assault is a given. You are also obliged to follow laws on child labor and avoid doing business with unlawful organizations.
If you’re not sure what the law is in a specific instance, don’t hesitate to ask HR or our legal counsel.
Working well with others is a virtue, rather than an obligation. You will certainly get to work autonomously and be focused on your own projects and responsibilities. But, you should also be ready to collaborate with and help others.
Be generous with your expertise and knowledge. Be open to learning and evolving. If days go by without you consulting or brainstorming with anyone, you are missing out on opportunities for excellence. Instead, work with others and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.