Sure, you’ve heard the idiom, “the devil is in the details,” but have you ever considered applying it to your company’s Ethics and Compliance (E&C) Program?
If not, we’re going to share why you should give it some thought.
At Kennametal, we believe capitalizing on detail yields far greater benefits than fearing it.
For starters, we can all agree that assessing the effectiveness of your company’s E&C Program is no walk in the park. Between the many variables to consider and heavy data to analyze, configuring what details carry actual weight towards your program, from the “fluff” that may distract it, is surely a challenge.
Let’s take, for example, our E&C Program. Recently, we’ve chosen to amplify our focus on leveraging program metrics as a barometer of the health of our Compliance Program and Ethics Culture. Here are a few of our findings for maintaining organizational focus on Ethics and Compliance.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Utilize Existing Systems and Data
Once you have decided to move the analysis of your E&C Program to a higher level, you can avail yourself of existing data sources to help in that endeavor.
Indeed, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when you can simply leverage the data you have in front of you. E&C Programs have information to pull from. (Try Thinking: Ethics Reports, Investigation Outcomes, Employee Engagement Surveys and Training Programs.) The key to managing this cache of information is organization. It is critical to identify key partners and technologies to help make sense of the data.
Towards that end, you will want to engage with your IT and HR departments to help determine trends and problem areas when it comes to systematically capturing and organizing pertinent data. Working together, these two departments can better plumb your organization’s files and databases while exploring ways to better utilize existing process to glean new data points and employee engagement opportunities.
Embedding Compliance: Methods to Engage Your New (and Existing) Team Members
Your company’s Code of Conduct should already form the bedrock of your decision making process.
“On-boarding” your employees, involves clearly communicating to them the importance of that mission from day one of their employment. Existing employees must also be continuously reminded of their collective ‘ownership’ obligation in driving a culture of ethics and compliance across the company. Successful E&C Programs are embedded in the corporate culture and lived out daily by each employee’s words and actions. Each employee training opportunity can be a teachable moment when it comes to early adoption of your Code of Conduct and equipping employees to handle complicated real-world ethical dilemmas.
To drive this result, consider integrating feedback mechanisms into your training regimen to obtain immediate feedback from your employees on their understanding and level of engagement, both during and after training sessions occur. From adding compliance questions into your on-boarding program to conducting exit interviews of all participants, you can gain excellent insights into what is working and what is being lost in translation.
Benchmarks Keep Your Compliance Program Relevant
Establishing solid benchmarks for your E&C Program is essential if your management team is to pull any value from the data collection process.
With a myriad of free or low-cost sources of benchmarking data, you can easily glean comparative data points on which to compare your internal data points. The fear is always that an organization will insulate itself in its own data, thus providing a myopic view of your entire Compliance Program and Ethical Culture. With outside data points available for comparison at your disposal, your management team has the information available to measure the effectiveness of your Compliance Program as compared to best in class and world class programs.
We would like to believe this mentality helped support our position as a four-time World’s Most Ethical Companies honoree, awarded by the Ethisphere Institute.
Congratulations to all honored this year!
Don’t stop now! Revisit our Ethics Series with past articles featuring: The World’s Most Ethical Companies, The Culture of Ethics, Breaking Down the Basics, and Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility, and Reputation, Leadership and Innovation in Ethics.