Best Practices for Crafting a Sound Digital Code of Conduct

Author Bill Webster
Posted May 20, 2021

The nature of employees’ digital behavior is changing. Already driven by improved user experience, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven companies to refine their workforce’s digital experience. Digital tools are now more than just a place to access stored information or share some funny memes with coworkers (though it’s still that, as well). 
The portion of employees working remotely was already growing before the pandemic, and in just under a year, many industries have adopted remote work as the new norm. And with new norms, come new experiences.  

Helping employees adapt to these changes and creating a standard digital code of conduct, is a priority for every HR department. Fortunately, many regular policies are immediately transferrable to the digital workplace. It’s all about how they are applied, distributed, and enforced. Here are a few best practices to help you navigate this new norm we’re all adjusting to. 

Adopt a Digital Code of Conduct Policy 

First and foremost, it’s essential for firms to take a zero tolerance approach to any in appropriate behaviors. All illicit acts defined in your code of conduct need to be addressed in the most severe and expedient way.  

Policies and procedures should be developed that clearly define and communicate what behaviors are not acceptable, what the punishment is for these behaviors, and what the process is for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating people who behave inappropriately. 

These policies must be in writing and made accessible to all employees. That means making them easy to find on all internal online communications channels. Employees should be regularly reminded where to find them, and how to get help when needed. 

As an example, here is Google’s Code of Conduct, easily accessible to everyone. 

Create Confidential Reporting Mechanisms 

Reporting incidents of harassment have always been a challenging aspect for employees. Because of how some digital technologies work, some employees may feel like they cannot document harassment, fearing visibility and retaliation for reporting an incident.  

A confidential online reporting tool can be used to circumvent this. Having the option to report harassment privately can help your employees feel safer. Companies should go the extra mile and invest in anonymous digital reporting channels for their workers. 

Online Training and Acknowledgement 

As mentioned, policies need to be in place to ensure that everyone in an organization understands what is and isn’t acceptable. However, reading something in a policy and understanding what this looks like in the real world, and especially online, can be challenging. Fortunately, providing online training is fairly easy. There are many digital tools that allow a trainer to deliver content to groups of employees.  

Having a strong workplace community is an essential part to having a productive workforce. Given the right approach and online tools to back it up, firms can take a proactive approach to improving their employees’ digital experience.  

Schedule a demo if you’re interested in learning more about Zenvoy’s online community tools for enterprises. 

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