[Podcast] Using the Code of Conduct to control violations

9 min read

Can a Code of Conduct help you with work? We interview Rochelle Danguilan, an HR Consultant who practices in Nueva Viscaya and Naga City. Here, we talk about how to use Codes of Conduct to prevent problematic behaviors from employees from happening in the first place.

Attorney: Hi partners and welcome to the legal Guide interview edition. In this episode, I will be interviewing one of my very good friends, an HR consultant who has had experience handling a full-blown hospital as well as other multiple businesses under her consultancy. Her name is Rochelle Danguilan. Rochelle, say Hi.

Rochelle: Hi!

Attorney: I think it would be best if you introduce yourself formally. What's your background and how do you think that would help our listeners?

Rochelle: Hi, I'm Rochelle Danguilan. I'm into HR Business Consultancy, particularly in Nueva Vizcaya, partly in Naga City also…

Attorney: So Nueva Vizcaya and Naga? Okay.

Rochelle: May some din in Metro Manila. I'm in HR now for five years, but previously I’m into admin and operations management now.

Attorney: So you've been around basically, you've experienced operations admin and now you're specializing in HR.

Rochelle: Yes. More on the industry with medical, auto service and retail.

Past Victories

Attorney: Oh, good. And Rochelle and I have been working together on so many projects before. Rochelle, do you mind if we share a victory or something that we worked on successfully, that the readers and the listeners get context on how we've been working together?

Rochelle: We have this confidentiality violation with a manager, where she exposed some confidential matters in social media.

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Attorney: Okay. So, alam mo naman social media and madami talagang nangyayari dyan. But it becomes problematic when it involves work matters, kasi it's not just personality based. You're actually causing your employer or the company damage.

Rochelle: Yes.

Attorney: In this case that was present, correct?

Rochelle: Yes.

Attorney: Okay. So what happened there? How were you able to deal with it?

Rochelle: So we processed the employee based on the complete discipline system of legal access, using the Complete Discipline System. So we do the due process of notice to explain, the admin hearing, the administrative investigation…

Attorney: How did the admin hearing go, did you have a hard time with that?

Rochelle: It's easy for me…

Attorney: For this particular case?

Rochelle: Yeah, it's easy we just… Pinresent namin all the investigation na nangyari, and then hear kung anong gustong i-add in employee.

Attorney: Was the employee able to justify it in this case? No?

Rochelle: No.

Attorney: So how did it end up basically? A suspension…

Rochelle: Yeah, it’s a suspension, but we transferred her.

Attorney: Oh okay, because when you transfer, usually it's a result seeing that the employee is no longer fit to continue working…

Rochelle: She’s a manager tapos she violated.

What's one tip you can share with us?

Attorney: And then she leaked information, so I'm very happy that we were able to help you with that. And moving forward as an HR manager, I think the next question is, is there something that I can ask on behalf of our viewers, are there tidbits of information or tips that you can share which could help them in their own operations?

Rochelle: For us, the code of conduct is very important. You need to have the code of conduct talaga in your company. Kasi that’s your bible na.

Attorney: Why? Why is it important in your opinion?

Rochelle: Kailangan the expectations setting, you need to say everything kung ano ang kailangan, and yung bawal in your company. and then you need to orient the employee para hindi na nila gawin. And then if in case we follow the complete discipline system, so para alam nila in case they violate something from the code of conduct, they will know the process.

Attorney: That's what's going to happen basically? Allow me to clarify a few more things about the code of conduct. So the code of conduct discusses the expected behavior from your…

Rochelle: Yes.

Expected Behaviors?

Attorney: Okay. So can you give me some examples of expected behavior? I have some ideas in my head, pero baka you can share lang so others can get better ideas on what their code of conduct should contain.

Rochelle: They can start with the attendance, performance, and then kung ano yung mga bawal like what they can’t post on social media, the policy on the non-smoking or the behavior of the employee.

Attorney: I have a tip usually for new clients and please confirm with me if this is something that would work. I usually tell new clients guys go back three to six months before this point and then ilista nyo what sort of problems or cases came out. And I think those are the best starting points for your code of conduct comments.

Rochelle: Yes, correct. Oo. That’s the pinaka-basis naming pinagkukuhaan.

What's the best practice here?

Attorney: Kasi the best kind of code of conduct is the one that arose from your own experience. Ang pinakaayaw ko yung kumokopya lang ng code of conduct from other companies or worst alam mo na nag-Google lang tapos yun na yung code of conduct. Because the experiences of other companies may not be totally applicable to you and your unique set of employees. So it's always best to get it from your own experience. So maraming nalalate. So what do you do. Can you share lang sa attendance, what are the best practices? Kunyari you're trying to set a standard for attendance. How would you go about it?

Rochelle: For the attendance, if ever kung malalate si employee, yun yung usual problem kung tuloy-tuloy laging nalalate si employee. So ano yung magiging penalty nila, kung magkakaron ba ng written warning or by…

Attorney: So what you’re saying is lagyan na ng proseso?If this happens, this is the next step... ganun?

Rochelle: Yes.

Best practice for Grace Periods?

Attorney: And what about defining what late is? Kasi there are some companies na 9 o’clock yung iba 8 o’clock.

Rochelle: Yeah, you need to be specific then, so mas maganda kung walang cut, like for us in our company wala kaming grace period.

Attorney: Wala?

Rochelle: Wala.

Attorney: Okay.

Rochelle: So, automatic yung by 8 o clock, by 8:01 late na sila.

Attorney: Okay. How does, how is that affected your operations? I'm very curious kasi there are two schools of thought there. There are some employees who are who are saying na maawa ka naman sa empleyado kasi because of the traffic situation bakit naman di natin pagbigyan. And on the other hand, parang we have to set boundaries at some point. So, can you tell me how that was implemented? Anong yung naging dating sa employees?

Rochelle: At the start of the orientation. We explain na talaga na we have an agreement na you need to work for eight hours. So dapat by 8 o’clock kailangan work kana talaga. So ready ka na, so you need, kaya nga ang ano namin is you need to be early. So like 15 minutes before ng work, kung if you need to prepare everything make up or whatever. You need to do everything before 8 o clock. So, and syempre we owe to the client naman na kailangan ready tayo by 8 o clock. Pag nagstart na ang operations.

What's the magic word?

Attorney: Okay, ayun so, parang, it’s again, going back to your magic word, it seems to be expectations setting. Na kahit na may traffic at least pag napag-usapan natin from the very start. Then there should be no excuse.

Rochelle: Yes.

Attorney: Kung sakaling may traffic then make allowances...

Rochelle: They need to adjust, Oo.

Attorney: Or adjustment. Parang ang running joke nga diba “Sinong mag-aadjust?” Ngayon traffic parang at some point you really have to set the boundary na oo nga naiintidian ko na traffic, but if I keep on adjusting baka mag-start yung time natin alas tres na ng hapon.

Rochelle: And it would be unfair for other employees na early dumarating.

Attorney: Na dumadating naman diba?

Rochelle: Yes.

Attorney: But you're still working in the same area, but they were able to make it work.

Rochelle: Yes.

What happens when you condone

Attorney: And I think the downside of that is if you, parang if you condone the lateness, basically what you're saying to the employees who come on time is it doesn't matter yung ginagawa ninyo. And eventually, maghahabulan na yan. Wala naman din palang epekto so everyone can be…

Rochelle: Yeah, follow na rin kung sino yung mga usually…

Attorney: Another question pala sa code of conduct, do you give copies to everyone? Ano yung diskarte doon?

Rochelle: We, from the day one ni employee, we orient na dun, namin siya sa code of conduct then individually meron silang copy ng code of conduct din.

Attorney: So its printed out? Talang isa isa?

Rochelle: Yes, its printed out. Meron silang employee handbook. We call it employee handbook. So lahat ng code of conduct, history, nandun na and then may acknowledgment receipt.

Attorney: Yun, so the acknowledgment receipt, who keeps that?

Rochelle: HR.

Attorney: HR. So what does the acknowledgment receipt say? Basically, I received a copy and then,

Rochelle: Yeah. I understood everything.

Attorney: I understand...

Rochelle: I understand everything, na naexplain sakanila.

Attorney: Okay and which you do really sa ano naman sa orientation. What about modifications doon sa ano code of conduct? How do you guys do it?

Rochelle: We release a memo.

Attorney: Okay.

Rochelle: Tapos we give out them to every employee.

Attorney: A new one?

Rochelle: A new one.

Attorney: So everytime na may gagalawin bagong memo ba?

Rochelle: No. Memo, yung memo lang mismo, then we update it every year nalang yung the handbook.

Attorney: Every year? So guys listen up, you don’t need to issue a new handbook every single time.

Rochelle: No naman, and gastos naman nun.

Attorney: Medyo magastos din ano, especially for big companies na kunwari hundreds or thousands yung employees. Medyo mabigat din magpaprint.

Rochelle: Oo.

New copies

Attorney: Siguro hundred, two hundred pesos din per a nice copy ng handbook. So siguro at the end of the year you just compile all of the changes and that’s the thing that you give at the start of the year. Correct?

Rochelle: Yes, we have been also a kit for new employees. Syempre pagdating yan ng handbook meron naman new version, may mga revision na sinasama namin yung mga inter-office memo together with the handbook para updated parin sya sa lahat ng violations or whatever rules and regulations.

Attorney: But the important thing is they have a copy. Kasi how can you be expected to follow something if you’re not aware na may ganun palang expectation. So thank you very much Rochelle for all of those tips regarding code of conduct and handling confidentiality issues. If anybody needs help from you, where can they reach you, especially in your target areas of. Again, ano yung target areas mo? Preferred?

Rochelle: Sa Region 2 and CAR, they can email me at rhdanguilan@gmail.com or contact me at 09178984247. Thank you so much attorney.

Attorney: You’re very welcome. And thank you so much. And for the readers, guys now that we’ve simplified the law, now it’s your turn. Go out there and make better choices. See you in the next episode. Bye!