Archive for the ‘code of ethics’ Category

A Manager’s Code of Ethics

Monday, January 6th, 2014

In an ideal world we could trust everyone to do the right things, but such a world does not exist. The unfortunate fact is that if we don’t train our management team to a common standard of professional behavior, some will transgress. And this is of primary importance because if we as managers and leaders don’t set an unimpeachable example, we can expect our employees to cut ethical corners as well.

Here is a list of professional expectations for managers and supervisors at all levels of hospitality operations:

  1. As a representative of the business for whom I work, I understand that my actions and behavior, both at and away from work, reflect on the organization that provides my employment. I will, therefore, do everything in my power to represent them faithfully and professionally in all my dealings with customers/guests/members, employees, vendors, and the community at large.
  2. I will organize the work areas for which I am responsible and thoroughly train the employees I supervise to ensure the most efficient operation with the highest levels of service possible.
  3. I will not use or remove company property for personal use and will protect the assets and resources of the operation as if they were my own. My vigilance and example will ensure the employees I supervise do likewise.
  4. I understand that my leadership and example set the standard for my employees. I understand that a manager who shirks responsibilities, cuts corners, fails to give an honest time commitment, pilfers food and supplies, fails to secure inventories, or is not personally productive in time or commitment, can expect his or her employees to do the same.
  5. I will not exchange company goods or services for personal favors or services from customers/guests/members or vendors. Further, I will not accept personal favors, gifts, or rebates from vendors in any form. Such items benefit me at my employer’s expense and are appropriately considered kickbacks. My only interest is to get the best price for my place of business and I will make every effort to do so by seeking competitive pricing from several vendors.
  6. While I may direct employees’ work, their productive effort and well-being serve the interests of the company that employs them. Therefore, I must work hard to ensure their maximum contribution to the mission and goals of the enterprise. I can only do this if I value each employee as an individual whose contribution to the collective effort is directly dependent upon my leadership, as well as the tools, training, resources, and support I provide them.
  7. I will never use my position or authority to request or require personal services or favors, sexual or otherwise, from employees.
  8. I will never enter into personal or intimate relations with any employee who works under my direction or is directly or indirectly supervised by me. Such an inappropriate relationship damages the organization by implications of favoritism and clouded judgment. Ultimately, it irretrievably harms both my ability to lead and my personal and professional reputation.
  9. While maintaining a positive interest in and influence over the efforts of my employees, I recognize the importance of maintaining a professional distance from them. I will not socialize or party with those I supervise, except while attending company-sponsored social events or in the furtherance of company business.
  10. Finally, I recognize that my integrity is at the core of my personal and professional standing. It is the most important ingredient of my leadership and is the foundation for any success I will achieve in my career and life. I will never be tempted to squander this most precious possession for the sake of expediency or inappropriate gain.

These basic standards should be used to indoctrinate all new members of your management staff. I personally like to have each manager sign and date a copy that is placed in their personnel file. I also like to review the Code of Ethics at least annually with all managers.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking  hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

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