I have been tasked with the responsibility of writing a code of conduct for our startup business (we are an established but young company with around 20 employees). I am not a qualified HR official, but I am an employee with a passion for the subject and the capacity to research and learn from other businesses' published codes of conduct. The code of conduct must cover everyone in all departments: directors, sales, marketing, tech, etc.
My question is, when it comes to writing a code of conduct for the company that includes communication and behaviours, how can I make it clear that harassment and 'othering' are unacceptable behaviours, without unnecessarily censuring social behaviours that work well for the productivity and bonding of some teams?
Othering: any action by which an individual or group becomes mentally classified in somebody’s mind as "not one of us"
I have often observed that our sales team operate under a culture that is very different from that of my department (tech). There are many practises and behaviours going on in the sales department that I personally would not find acceptable. One typical example is that the team have a few nerf gun toys in their office and often will shoot each other with nerf gun darts. There is also a lot of chatter amongst the sales team that involves making fun of each other; this might be called "office banter" by some, but personally, I know that I would feel uncomfortable if I was the subject of these jokes or banter.
I am well aware that different individuals have different thresholds of what they consider 'acceptable' when it comes to office culture and behaviour. I think my personality might come across as somewhat 'humourless' to some people, whereas others might share my aversion to nerf guns and banter. My goal is not to impose my idea of a suitable office culture on the sales team: I can clearly observe that they are a functioning and productive team, and none of the individuals working in that department seem uncomfortable or unhappy. What works for them does not work for me (and probably vice versa), but that is fine, and I recognise that a diversity of personality types probably contributes to our overall success and productivity.