Code of Conduct: The Code and the Road
You’re driving to a wedding. You thought the directions to the address were clear but suddenly nothing looks familiar. You drive in circles, turning the directions over and over in your mind as you anxiously watch the hands of the clock. Finally, in a moment of clarity, you remember the road map in your glove box. Quickly, you re-orient yourself to your current location and arrive breathlessly just as the ceremony begins.
Like a good road map, our university’s Code of Conduct can help you get your bearings in a tough situation. Our Code is a navigation tool specifically designed to guide your daily decisions in the right direction. But just like the map in the glove box, the Code won’t help if it’s sitting on the shelf in your office. To reap its benefits you have to understand its contents, and access it when needed.
The Code As a Road Map
Our Code is a road map for ethical behavior on the job. It outlines our university’s expectations and the responsibility of each employee. It summarizes our policies and procedures about important topics such as Harassment, Conflicts of Interest, Records Management, Equal Opportunity, and Information Privacy and Security. The Code applies to all our employees and is supported by the UCF Board of Trustees, the president, and senior leadership.
The Code also provides our guiding principles and suggests ways to apply these principles. For example, the guiding principle of Respect for Others may translate to a statement such as “we don’t use degrading or offensive language in the workplace.”
How to Use the Code
Just like the road map, the Code is a resource. Here are some ways to use the Code that may make your trip easier.
- Become very familiar with those sections that relate directly to your job.
- Ask for clarification on sections that may be unclear to you.
- The Code contains resources who can answer your questions and for reporting issues and concerns. Review the code and decide where you would turn first, and second, if you had a concern.If you are a supervisor or manager:
- Consider ways to help your direct reports understand the topics in the Code and to realize that the Code is a resource for ethical decisions.
- Determine which topics of the Code present higher risk for your work group. These are the areas where you will need to provide the most guidance in order to avoid problems.
- Check your own behavior to be sure that you are applying the policies in the Code evenly and accurately no matter who is involved.
- Practice ethical decision-making. Include consideration of ethics, our guiding principles, policies and laws in every decision that you make. Be a model of ethical action by ensuring that employees around you or your direct reports know that you always include ethical considerations in your decisions.
Reaching Our Destination
Our Code of Conduct sends a clear message about where our university is today and what our emphasis is as we move down the road toward the future. When you read, understand, and reflect the Code in your decisions, you are protecting our university’s good reputation and demonstrating our university’s values. If you have any doubts or questions, always ask for guidance from your supervisor, HR, or University Compliance, Ethics, and Risk.