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2014 Corporate Compliance Ethics Week

May 5, 2014 by
Filed under: Compliance Management

The week of May 4 - 10, 2014 many organizations in North America are celebrating Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week. Traditionally it is held the first full week in May to highlight the importance of ethics and compliance in the workplace. It is a good opportunity to raise awareness about compliance and ethics topics or to introduce employees to critically important compliance and ethics topics by rolling out a new compliance training program or holding the annual compliance training activities.

While it is certainly a commendable and a worthy effort to put the spotlight on good compliance and corporate governance practices one week per year, in reality compliance and ethics activities should actually be highlighted each day all year. A well-designed program provides a continuous learning process with feedback loops for continuous improvement which facilitates a cycle of positive momentum. More compliance awareness breeds more employee compliance, breeds better adherence to processes and procedures, leads to better business and profitability.

One common activity in the Compliance & Ethics Week schedule is asking employees to complete the annual compliance questionnaire. Completing the questionnaire itself provides a tremendous boost to employees' compliance awareness. Sharing the an¬onymized and aggregated results can provide additional benefits longer term. During the weeks immediately before and several weeks after the fielding the questionnaire, the organization usually provides employees explanations, benefits and instructions about the necessity of the questionnaire. Thereafter, employees can continue to learn from the assess¬ment. Senior leaders should define concrete action plans relating to the specific topics addressed in the questionnaires and demonstrate that it actively tracks changes.

To perpetuate the awareness benefits of the questionnaire exercise specifically and Compliance & Ethics Week in general, organizations should strive for as much transparency as possible. It can help do this by delivering guidance and information in the context of business processes and decision-making as responses to the assessment results. A couple of practical ways to do this with the employee base is:

  • Use scenario analysis to discuss meth¬ods for handling situations and solving problems.

  • Present the results of the compliance audit as benchmark data - i.e., peer comparisons, common events/losses or mitigation techniques - during training and staff development sessions.

Providing full, ongoing transparency to compliance processes and procedures helps increase employee engagement and ultimately better compliance. So, let's honor National Compliance & Ethics Week in the U.S. and around the globe and practice what we learn throughout the year. Learn more about how to increase employee engagement.

Tags: Compliance

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