Code of Conduct

The Human Made Code of Conduct is one of the ways that we put our values into practice. We don’t have this document because we anticipate bad behaviour, but because it is one of the many ways that we can enact our values. Articulating our values and the behaviours that we expect from one another reinforces our culture and helps us to make corrections as we go.

This Code of Conduct applies to all employees, contractors, and partners at Human Made, and to freelancers when they are undertaking paid work for the company. It applies to all work that you undertake on behalf of Human Made including online, at team meetups and the retreat, client meetings, when you represent Human Made at WordCamps or other events, and when you represent Human Made as a member of open source communities.

Expected Behaviours

  • Treat others with kindness and respect This is one of the most important behaviours we expect at Human Made. We may not always agree with one another, but when we do disagree we should do so in a way that is respectful of other people’s point of view.
  • Be prepared to explain We are a global company with employees from many different countries. Be considerate in the language that you use and the way you communicate with others. Always be prepared to explain something that may have gotten lost in translation and never make others feel embarrassed for speaking up when they don’t understand.
  • Assume best intentions Everyone at Human Made wants the company to succeed and do well, so when interacting with others always assume that they are acting with their best intentions.
  • Always default to trust if you have concerns about something, directly address it with the person to get a better understanding of what they mean.
  • Be accountable for your work and behaviour Remote work relies heavily on trust and the accountability of all of those working at the company. This means you should actively report your status to those who rely on your work, deliver work as promised or provide updates if that’s not possible, and take holidays and other time off in a way that least impacts others.  
  • Be considerate of other timezones As an employee of a global company, you will be at work when a number of your colleagues are asleep. You should ensure that discussions are had and decisions made using tools that allow for asynchronous communication, and think about timezones when scheduling events.
  • Be open to giving and receiving feedback Feedback helps us to grow and learn together. You should give feedback in a way that is generous and that encourages personal growth and development. When receiving feedback, be open to perspectives different from your own and assume the best intentions.
  • Respect others’ privacy You should respect the privacy of others, whether they are an individual or an organisation. This includes maintaining confidentiality and protecting data in accordance with our data protection policy.

Unacceptable Behaviour

  • Exclusionary language Be careful about the language that you use so as not to exclude people. Sexist, racist, ableist, sectarian, and other exclusionary jokes are not appropriate and will not be tolerated. Language that is unwelcoming is strongly discouraged.
  • Harassment and bullying Harassment and bullying will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with our Dignity and Respect at Work Policy. Harassment may include:
    • mocking or belittling a person’s disability
    • unwelcome sexual advances
    • sending or displaying pornographic materials that is or that some people may find offensive
    • jokes or derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender or sexual orientation
    • Bullying is intimidating or offensive behaviour making a person feel upset or threatened. It is not constructive criticism.
  • Creating a negative work environment. You should not act in a way that creates a negative work environment for anyone in the company, this includes shouting at, shaming, or demeaning others, being hostile to individuals or entire groups, using language that is discriminatory, wilfully blocking others’ work, or using feedback mechanisms to make personal attacks.
  • Retaliation. Coming forward when there is an issue or concern takes courage. Retaliation against anyone who does come forward to raise questions or concerns about individual or company activities will be treated as a Code of Conduct violation.
  • Drunk, Drugged, or Disorderly. We all like to have a good time when we meet up or interact with each other, and sometimes this calls for a celebration via some good food and spirits. Ensure that you bring your best self to such situations and know your limits. It goes without saying that prohibited stimulants (drugs) are not welcome at meet ups, retreats, conferences, WordCamps, and client meetings. Please treat fellow humans, clients, and other members of the community with respect even when intoxicated as you are representing the company at such places.

What should I do if I experience a Code of Conduct violation?

If you experience or witness a Code of Conduct violation, there are a number of approaches you can take.

  • Address it directly. For smaller incidents, you may wish to address these directly yourself, using it as an opportunity to explain to the person how it affected you. It’s important that we can have these conversations with one another and that issues are dealt with early on before they escalate. You can talk through your approach to dealing with this with Tom C, your team lead/manager or a trusted colleague.
  • Take to your team lead or manager. They will be able to deal with specific issues within a team and will have a good understanding of team dynamics. They should also be able to either address the problem themselves or advise you on how to address it.
  • Take it to Tom Chute, Siobhan, or the People Ops team. We will take any concerns seriously and want to hear about problems of any size or magnitude. We will retain clear communication throughout the Code of Conduct process, maintaining your confidentiality as far as possible.

What should I do if I witness a Code of Conduct violation?

Sometimes you might witness something which isn’t aligned with our values or a situation in which a person feels uncomfortable. First of all, check with the person to see if they are okay. Even if it appears to be minor they might be a bit shaken or annoyed. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to speak up directly as the situation occurs, or you may want to speak to the person who has violated the code of conduct after the event. If you’re not sure of how to navigate this situation, you can contact Siobhan, Tom, C or your team lead/manager for advice. As a baseline, take care of each other.

What should I do if I am the subject of a Code of Conduct complaint?

We all occasionally fail to live up to the high standards that we expect of ourselves. Sometimes you will make a mistake: what matters is how you deal with that mistake after the event, and how you take accountability for future behaviour. If you have been approached as having violated the Code of Conduct, listen to what others tell you, avoid becoming defensive, be accepting of other perspectives, and reflect upon your behaviour. Usually, the best way to address and move on from a mistake is to acknowledge that it has happened, try to understand its impact, and apologise.