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Legal code or employee code of honor (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2009

Staff management can be a fun cooperative project or it can be a daily drudgery depending on the cooperation and staff participation in discussions and agreements on the staff culture or some would say corporate culture. Staff culture can be affected by staff agreements and participation in drafting a hospital honor code for acceptable behavior. Without a staff developed honor code, the interactions and respect or lack of the same will continue to deteriorate the morale or staff culture over time as the staff grows and is required to live and work through stressful times in the work place.

If there is not an honor code, all any practice has for behavior guidelines or minimum standards is the inherent abilities and backgrounds of the team members and the other minimum standards as spelled out in the law. This is not to say there are not some super staff teams that may do well without the time and effort spent to develop the honor code, but usually those naturally positive teams would be mostly small staff teams, where there may be some natural leaders that uphold a given standard while others follow without a plan.

This session will present methods and contents of ideas that should be part of helping the hospital develop an employee code of honor that establishes minimum standards of behavior for team members and doctors to use daily in respecting and interacting with each other. The team members should strive to include at least 10 minimum behavior traits they can agree on that they would like to maintain as characteristics of their team.

Usually the traits would center around respect, honesty, timeliness, accountability and the golden rule of treating others as they would want to be treated. The honor code should be printed and posted in staff areas, so all can see and review daily as they pass by the posting. With this standard and posting they can help to hold each other accountable to uphold those characteristics in each other.

If a staff is left to only live by the law, there certainly are minimum standards of not having theft, assault, or sexual harassment, but these are not self drafted, or necessarily bought into by team members; hence, there is likely much less holding each other accountable for them.

To keep your team happy, productive and long term employed, the author recommends you develop and use the honor code to develop your corporate or team culture and raise the morale in your hospital.