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Code of Ethics for the Beacon Corporation
Company Introduction and Background
The Beacon Corporation has been providing banking and financial services to its customers for more than fifty years. Beginning as a small bank and personal consulting firm in northern New Jersey in 1969, this company soon branched out to Wall Street and experienced extreme levels of growth, which ultimately spawned a nation-wide expansion in the early 1990's. With its sound investment strategies and great levels of sustained success and profitability, Beacon Inc. was soon drawing the attention of some of the top investors (both private and institutional) in the country. Thus, in order to facilitate their massive expansion and adequately meet the needs of these hungry investors, the Beacon Corporation became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994. After continuing its steady growth and profitability for more than ten years, many key investors and stakeholders began to question many of the firm's investment decisions. Thus, as the economic crisis of 2008 approached, The Beacon Corporation was in the same seat as many of its investment bank competitors. For in order for Beacon to retain its most qualified and valuable employees (especially in the investment side of the business) they were forced to offer the same benefits, perks and financial incentives as their competition. Consequently, large bonuses were offered for short-term gains and subprime mortgages were provided to many unqualified applicants. Both of these popular policies led to extreme risk-taking behavior, unethical accounting and massive foreclosures. Once again, like its competitors, The Beacon Corporation was forced to apply for a government bailout package and seriously reexamine its current ethical protocols. The forthcoming data will extensively elucidate the cornerstones of this new systematic ethical structure.
Purpose of the Code
The purpose of this code is to specifically communicate the values and principles of The Beacon Corporation to its members, partners, shareholders, potential investors and customers.
The mission of The Beacon Corporation is to participate in the economic system of this nation to the best of its ability while keeping the local, regional and national interests at heart. Additionally, Beacon Inc. And its employees will strive to provide the highest levels of service and reliability to its members, partners, shareholders, potential investors and customers.
Core Values and Definitions
Beacon's core values will revolve around five key concepts: honesty, integrity, competency, compassion and loyalty. Being that the term "ethics" represents "a strong set of moral principles," these five cornerstones aim to encompass all potential ethical problem areas . In order for members, partners, shareholders, potential investors and customers to thoroughly understand the specific standards each of these stage-posts embodies, a further examination of each area will follow.
Honesty in the financial world is absolutely critical in order for The Beacon Corporation to sustain a profitable future. Communication with customers as well as internal organizational entities should never raise questions regarding truthfulness or validity. Customers want to feel secure in knowing that financial experts are conveying truthful information and executives need to rely on the financial data presented to them by their subordinates in order to make the right strategic decisions for the company. Thus, knowing the great essentiality of maintaining reliable discourse in the financial arena, The Beacon Corporation cannot afford to employ dishonest or disreputable human resources.
Similarly to honesty, integrity is a key piece of the moral puzzle present in all financial institutions (certainly including Beacon Inc.). This concept resembles the notion of honesty; in that it requires that members of the Beacon Corporation always strive to act in the best interests of the firm and its customers. However, while honesty only and solely rest on the shoulders of an individual and his or her moral composition, integrity in finance also encompasses a certain degree of diligence and legwork . There are many cases where a financial advisor or executive will truly believe that he or she is acting ethically and with integrity, but due to lack of thorough data analysis the final products will not accurately represent current positions or threats. In other words, integrity not only applies to human resources themselves, but also to the data which they produce. Therefore, Beacon Inc. will require the highest standard of data examination and instill severe consequences for inaccurate data or reporting. Such consequences will exist on a three-strike system, whereby the first strike will involve a warning, the second will mandate a temporary pay cut and the third will result in termination of employment. While the specific situations must all be thoroughly examined by superiors, the general outline of this type of ethical enforcement policy has been proven to be very effective historically .
In order to maintain its desired standards of documental and data integrity, The Beacon Corporation must ensure that all employees are highly competent in their positions. Such competency will allow Beacon's employees to easily detect data errors and work effectively to correct them. Additionally, competency at the executive level will imply that leaders are chronically educated about new laws, ethical mandates, investor/stakeholder concerns and new corporate protocols. Such continuous knowledge (originating from both internal and external sources) will allow Beacon Inc. To maintain a secure position in the market while providing potential investors and current shareholders with peace of mind in their financial dealings.
Compassion is yet another intangible asset required of all employees in the financial sector. While the global landscape of finance is changing everyday, executives must be able to show compassion to their employees regarding knowledge standards, customer suggestions and data inspection. Lower-level employees are not typically privy to each and every bit of corporate information, especially regarding global markets. And while they should certainly strive to educate themselves in order to best meet the needs of their customers, executive compassion should be shown to such individuals if they are seen to be genuinely trying to help their clients to the best of their ability. Compassion should also be shown to customers that are hesitant to make new investments or fighting to maintain financial solvency. In many cases, such new investments would stand to make these individuals quite a bit of money. However, compassion must be shown and aggressive tactics should never be implemented.
Lastly, The Beacon Corporation will strive to ensure the greatest possible levels of company loyalty throughout its ranks. By healthily providing its labor force with incentives (like advancement opportunities, retirement plans and paid leaves), Beacon hopes to maintain high employee retention rates for the foreseeable future . Recent studies have shown that these types of motivational devices have a directly positive effect of employee loyalty . Additionally, Beacon will adamantly pursue policies to increase customer loyalty throughout the entire investor spectrum. Similarly to employee loyalty schemes, high service standards and customer benefits have been shown to have an equally positive effect on customer loyalty in finance . With countless firms providing similar services, Beacon must take a comprehensive approach to heightening its service standards across the board.
Training and Education
The ethical training of staff members in accordance with Beacon's new code of ethics will be constructed and subsequently take place from two perspectives; the first demographic for ethics training will consist of current employees, while the other side of the ethical coin will involve newly hired employees. Thus, newly created ethical education programs will be implemented into initial employee training programs. Ultimately, employees at all levels of the corporate ladder will be required to participate in specified ethical education programs.
Many studies have recently shown that ethical subject matter does not regularly find its way into that college or business school classroom. Knowing this, Beacon Inc. aims to fill in the educational gap with its training approach. Accordingly, the setting for these educational seminars will closely resemble that of a university lecture hall or classroom. By not assuming that any employee possessing a complete mastery of all ethical concepts, the curriculum for training will begin with basic elements and expand outwards in complexity. It has also been shown that that most effective ethical education occurs when ethics are presented from various different viewpoints . Therefore, Beacon's ethical education system will be comprised of instructors from various sections of the business.
In order to effectively implement this educational system, Beacon Corporation officials must be extremely diligent in the logistical process as well as the selection and acquisition of usable resources. Training schedules must be constructed in such a way that Beacon can still confidently ensure an efficient and adequately staffed work environment. There should always be a sufficient number of employees available to meet the needs clients and shareholders. Thus, seminars requiring company-wide attendance should be scheduled for weekends or post-work hours and regular sessions should be comprised of small groups from multiple departments . The executive body of The Beacon Corporation will be responsible for the logistical framework as well as deciding on the number of hours required for each employee to be sufficiently educated on the topic of ethics. Furthermore, there…[continue]
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