For some companies, traveling is just part of the business. From salespeople to client concierges, today’s businesses are on the go. But are your teams protected, and are they adhering to a well-developed ethics policy? Here’s what you should consider, especially if you have employees who travel as part of their regular jobs.
1. Expectations for Professional Conduct
When employees are traveling for work, there can be blurred lines about what constitutes “their” time in between departure and destination. Make sure any policies your company has about expectations for professional conduct are outlined in your ethics policies. These might include:
· What defines professional behavior?
· What behaviors should employees avoid when in public for work-related travel?
· What kind of risks are involved to the employee, the company, and the brand if these professional conduct requirements are violated?
2. Ethics for Travel Expenses
Define authorizations and responsibilities for the employee. There should be language specific to how and when personal funds for work travel are to be authorized. And there can be ethical risks associated with vacation in conjunction with business. If there are exceptions to your guidelines, list them clearly and make sure management is reviewing these details with employees before they get on the road or board the plane.
3. Safe Driving
If work-related travel involves driving, there are a host of benchmarks you should have in place outlining safe driving. Even if the employee is in his or her own vehicle, certain activities might be prohibited during work time, including driving under the influence.
4. Hotel Accommodations
Can employees opt for the more luxurious rooms at the hotel? Can they choose to share rooms with other colleagues? What about added room expenses for meals, entertainment, or damage? These are all scenarios that an ethics policy should govern. Take the guesswork out of these sometimes harmless yet unprofessional oversights and follow through to ensure your teams are conducting themselves accordingly.
5. Happy Hours and Social Work Events
Networking, client meetings, and social events for business are all necessary for building client relationships. But without a concise ethics policy governing conduct and expected behaviors, your sales teams and account managers could be opening your company up to additional risks. Define specifics about authorized expenses versus unauthorized expenses. Detail when it’s ok to enjoy a cocktail with a top client and when it’s time to stop.
6. Sexual Harassment Outside of the Office
Your company’s sexual harassment policies don’t just apply to staff when they’re at the office or on-site. Those policies should also protect traveling employees who may run into violations from other traveling employees, clients, or colleagues. Your teams should know how to identify sexual harassment and what to do about reporting those instances, even when working away from the office.
How thorough and detailed are your ethics policies when it comes to protecting your traveling employees? Keep these insights in mind and let Ethical Advocate provide ethics hotline solutions to help you support and uphold these policies.