Code of Conduct and Work Performance

Code of Conduct and Performance

Last Thursday, the Singapore Straits Times published an article where an Indonesian Police Officer is to be honored for refusing bribes for 40 years (You can view it here). Quite a number of comments are trending in their Facebook Post, with most expressing their respect towards this particular officer, and with some expressing their disappointment on rewarding people who adhere to the Code of Conduct and seems to be not having any punishment to those who didn’t. I respect this person, but I, like some others, felt disappointed that a country actually needs to honor people for doing the right thing, and seems to be not doing anything to those who are in the wrong path.

This leads me to think back, in a smaller scale – Work Place. Does people believe that Code of Conduct equates to Work Performance, and therefore by adhering to it, warrants rewards? I had a small discussion with a particular fellow on this and his answer seems to be Yes, adhering to the Code of Conduct should be rewarded. I am taken aback. If you ask me, it is a straight No!

Code of Conduct is a set of practices /rules which direct people what to do and what is not to be done, it also defines what’s right and wrong. Sometimes we also refers to as rules which outline the social norms. Not to take reference from other countries, in Singapore, so far, I have not seen any company setting one’s KPIs as adhering to the company code of conduct – e.g. No gambling at work, No Facebook during work, etc. While contravenes the Code of Conduct warrants Disciplinary Action, adhering to it does not warrant rewards. You get rewarded for doing well in your job, that’s it (or perhaps by boot licking I am not sure).

I believe most HR Practitioners would agree on this, and if anyone out there has been through a company who rewards employees for adhering to its Code of Conduct, do share your experience as I am really curious what is this all about.


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