Tools & Resources Smart Note: Building Institutional Culture Around a Code of Ethics at Compartamos

Smart Note: Building Institutional Culture Around a Code of Ethics at Compartamos

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Compartamos trains all new recruits on the Code of Ethics. The Smart Campaign encourages institutions to download and review this documents as an example of a well-organized, concise overview of a detailed Code of Ethics document.

Smart Note
Ethical staff behavior begins at the top of an institution, with a commitment from senior management. When this commitment is successfully integrated in the institution’s strategy and systems, it permeates the institution. How the institution treats its staff and builds its culture directly affects how the staff live the institution’s values and treat their clients.

In 2004 Compartamos Banco established a formal Code of Ethics, built around a set of six institutional values, including Responsibility, Passion, Profitability, Teamwork, and Service. At the core of these values is the Person and the idea that each person, whether an employee or a client, is valuable to an integrated whole. Shortly after establishing a code of ethics, Compartamos created a department to review, monitor, and institutionalize the code throughout the institution. As a result, the bank’s emphasis on ethical behavior is evident throughout the institution.

PowerPoint Presentation
Compartamos trains all new recruits on the Code of Ethics. Not just a brief list of employee “dos” and “don’ts,” this training session explains the institutional philosophy—the “Compartamos Way”—of working. Describing ethical standards in the context of the bank’s vision, mission, values, and “Esprit de Corps” the presentation introduces the “why” behind the detailed institutional Code of Ethics, as well as how the Code is organized. This summary presentation allows the institution to introduce the Code of Ethics and later discuss ethical behavior in more detail.

The Smart Campaign encourages institutions to download and review this documents as an example of a well-organized, concise overview of a detailed Code of Ethics document.

Code of Ethics
The Compartamos Code of Ethics is an extensive document detailing the institution’s mission, vision, values, and expectations for staff.

The Code also outlines the ways that staff, clients, and others can “denounce” breaches of the Code by anonymously or confidentially reporting unethical behavior. Reports are investigated by the Code Complaints department and taken to the Honor Committee if necessary.

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