Employees and conflicts of interest
Do you have an employee who owns a business offering similar services to your business? Or maybe one of your employees has accepted a gift from one of your clients?
Depending on your policy, either of these examples could be classified as a conflict of interest.
What’s considered a conflict of interest?
A conflict of interest can arise when an employees’ interests conflict with the professional interests of a business, or an employee stands to make a personal gain from the business.
A few example situations could be:
- an employee starts a part-time business offering similar services
- an employee accepts a gift from a supplier in exchange for business over other suppliers
- a manager fails to disclose that they are related to a candidate being considered for a job.
Even just the perception of a conflict of interest can be damaging to your business’s reputation. Without a disclosure process, it can create gossip in the workplace and harm staff morale.
Does your business have a code of conduct?
A code of conduct is a set of guidelines that spells out:
- the standards and values that reflect the culture and beliefs of your business
- how employees, customers, partners and suppliers can expect to be treated
- what you as the business owner expect of your employees.
Making these guidelines clear can help eliminate conflicts of interest in your business.