Last Updated 18 Jun 2020

Ethics and Human Resources

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Policy In the consulting industry, ethics play a very important role. Ethics are the baseline for every business decision that is made. For this reason, all employees of the AJ Consulting firm are required to adhere to our strict ethics policy. AJ Consulting’s ethics policy is based on three areas. These areas are as follows. People AJ Consulting’s employees are the most important asset that we have. All employees will be treated with the highest respect and trust. Management is expected to lead by example and set the tone for our ethics program.

They are expected to act and behave in the highest ethical manner. Through these actions they will enforce ethical decision making and guide subordinates through the development process. Open and honest communication is key to providing an environment that supports the development of people and business. All managers have an open door policy for employees to voice any concerns regarding violations of company policy. The Employees are the eyes and ears of AJ Consulting and should be comfortable bringing any violations to the attention of management without fear of retaliation.

All reported concerns of unethical behavior will be addressed and investigated in a timely manner, and the findings of the investigation will be shared company wide. The report of findings will be nonspecific to protect the privacy of our employees. We are an equal opportunity employer and take a zero tolerance stance against retaliation and discrimination. This includes all behaviors that are deemed harassing, abusive (both verbal and physical), and offensive. AJ Consulting is dedicated to providing an environment where every employee can unlock and reach their potential.

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All opportunities for advancement and self-improvement will be offered to all qualified personnel equally, thus allowing the employees of AJ Consulting to reach their full potential. Allowing employees to reach their full potential directly contributes to the success of our business. Employees should contact their manager or human resources if they feel that they have been harassed or discriminated against. Place (community) AJ Consulting is dedicated to improving the community in which we operate.

To fulfill our obligation to improve our community, and to better understand our nonprofit customers, all employees will be required to volunteer eight hours per calendar year. Volunteer time can be during business hours and regular wages will be paid by AJ Consulting for this time. We will build trust in the community through our actions and credibility. To gain the public’s trust we will follow through on our commitments and operate with honesty and integrity. Under no circumstances will an employee of AJ Consulting act unethically or immorally without disciplinary action.

If questions arise when considering a certain action or business deal consider the following questions. Will this action be perceived favorably by the public? Can AJ Consulting fulfill this commitment? Will this action help build trust within the community? Is this action legal? If you cannot answer yes to these questions, seek guidance from management. Profit AJ Consulting is not in business to make a profit. We make a profit to stay in business. A portion of our profits will be reinvested into our people and our community, thus reinforcing our commitment to the community and our people.

No business should be done and profit made thereof, by violating our code of ethics or our high standards of integrity and honesty. Any violation or possible violations should be reported to a member of management. Ethics in Business Dealings While we strive to be competitive in the market; we will offer our services based on quality and ethical business decisions. AJ Consulting will not coordinate any of business decisions with our competitors to create an unfair and unethical advantage in the marketplace.

We will also not accept gratuities or gifts from our customers or competitors to gain an advantage. All of our services will be competitively priced based on company guidelines and not outside influences. AJ Consulting will conduct its business in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and company policies. To ensure that employees are familiar with and understand these laws and regulations; employees will be required to attend regular update meetings on a quarterly basis. It is every employee’s obligation to see that we are in compliance with governing law and regulations.

Managers should be made aware of any violations or possible violations of laws, regulations, or company policies. Managers are then in turn, responsible for investigating any concerns brought to their attention in a timely manner. If the suggested violations are substantiated the manger is then required to take the appropriate steps to correct the violation. Gifts While negotiating a contract with a potential customer, no gifts or gratuities shall be given or received. Business dinners are permissible as long as they do not present the appearance of favoritism or any attempt to influence business decisions.

We need to reinforce our reputation as a fair and ethical business and the appearance of favoritism can severely tarnish our reputation. Under no circumstances may an employee of AJ Consulting solicit gifts from their customers. After a contract is awarded, small gifts may be given or received if they are unsolicited and are of menial value. If you have any questions regarding whether or not a gift is appropriate contact a member of the management team to verify if accepting the gift violates company policy.

Confidential Customer Information Our customer’s confidentiality is of the upmost importance to AJ Consulting. In order to build a trusting relationship; employees of AJ consulting will under no circumstances, use any information about our customers for the purpose of personal or financial gain. To avoid a conflict of interest, no employee with a vested interest shall make recommendations or consult the organization in which they have stake in. Nor shall any employee divulge any sensitive or confidential information to anyone outside of the company.

Our customer’s sensitive information shall be kept secure, and be used for the sole purpose of making recommendations for process improvement. We shall also ensure recommendations do not include our customer’s sensitive information to minimize the risk of leaking such information to the public. Ethics Training Program Within the first 90 days of employment, all new hires will attend an initial ethics training. This training will be facilitated by the Human Resources Department with the support of the employee’s first line supervisor.

During the initial training the President and Chief Operating Officer of AJ Consulting will discuss the importance of ethics in the consulting industry. The human resources department will inform the new hire of the policies and procedures of AJ Consulting’s ethics program. Included in this training will be an overview of the laws and regulations that govern the consulting industry, AJ Consulting’s position on ethics, proper use and disposal of sensitive information, how to file an ethics complaint, resources available for ethics questions, and the disciplinary consequences of ethics violations.

After the initial ethics training employees will be given and annual refresher training. The annual refresher training will cover all ethics violations or potential violations and how they affected the company and its reputation. Role playing will be used to evaluate how well employees understand the ethics program and how they use this knowledge in real life situations. The training will also update the employee on new rules and regulations governing the consulting industry. It will also review the disciplinary actions that may result from ethics violations.

The violation reporting procedures and resources for ethics questions will be updated and passed on during the annual refresher training. Reporting Suspected Ethics Violations AJ Consulting takes the issue of ethics very seriously. That is why it is the responsibility of every employee of AJ Consulting to report all actual and suspected ethics violations in a timely manner. The likelihood of diverting a crisis is dramatically increased if we can respond to potential violations quickly. We have developed a quick and anonymous way for our employees to report ethics violations.

If you wish to report an ethics violation anonymously we have set up an ethics hotline. The number for the ethics hotline is (800)ajethics. This hotline will direct you to our ethics officer during business hours. If you are calling outside regular business hours you will be directed to their voicemail. We have also setup an email account for those personnel who prefer to report ethics violations this way. The email address is ethics@ajconsulting. com. You will receive a response within 48 hours of submitting a violation.

The third way of reporting is by contacting any member of management or any member of the ethics compliance committee. Remember when reporting a violation, supply us with as detailed information as you can. This information should include dates, times, names, and companies. While all of this information is not required to file a complaint, it will help us investigate the issue. We do understand that ethics can be confusing, so if you have any questions about ethics or how ethics is applied in a given situation please reach out to our ethics officer who is also our human resources manager.

If they cannot provide you with an answer they will research the situation and respond as quickly as possible. Monitoring the Ethics Program AJ Consulting is dedicated to providing the most efficient and stable work environment possible. Since a solid ethics program is the basis for our core values it is very important for us to monitor and evaluate how effective this program is. Monitoring and auditing our ethics program allows us to become proactive in preventing ethical and illegal misconduct whereby the public’s trust and the company’s reputation may be damaged beyond repair.

To fulfill this requirement AJ Consulting has implemented a compliance committee. The committee will consist of the president, chairman of the board of directors, human resources manager, and the accounting manager. They will be in charge of evaluating all aspects of this program. Quarterly first line supervisors will observe 10% of their employees. During the observation the supervisor should note any behaviors or decisions that could be seen as unethical. The observation should be documented and turned into the human resources department.

Semiannually they will review all financial documents to ensure they are complete and accurate. They will look for any anomalies in the financial documents and investigate any discrepancies. The compliance committee will also verify that all financial reports are filed on time and give an accurate view of our company. Under no circumstance is it permissible to file reports that are misleading or false. Annually the committee will send out a workplace survey to gain the employee’s perspective.

These surveys will be anonymous in order to allow employees to question or comment on any decision making or instances that they feel may be unethical. No place on this survey shall it ask for any information that may identify the person filling out the survey. This will allow honest and open feedback without the fear of retaliation. The compliance committee will review the annual training attendance, roll playing, supervisor observations, financial reports, and employee surveys and compile a state of ethics report that will be kept on record.

This will allow AJ Consulting to look for trends in our ethical behavior and ensure that we are on the path to success and allow us to reevaluate and adjust our program as necessary. Biannually AJ Consulting will contract an outside agency to audit and evaluate our ethics program. They will look at our financial records, ethics reports, and reported violations to provide an unbiased assessment of our ethics program. AJ Consulting will use our internal audits and external audits to improve the ethics program and align our values, mission statement, and direction with ethics.

Summary While every manager is responsible for the day to day ethics at AJ Consulting, every employee is responsible for doing business in an ethical manner every time. Under no circumstance is it permissible to conduct yourself in an unethical manner. We have assembled an ethics compliance committee that consists of the president, chairman of the board of directors, accounting manager, and human resources manager. The human resources manager is also the ethics officer for AJ Consulting. If you have any questions about ethics please contact one of these members.

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