Use the content in Compliance Communicator to help strengthen tone in the middle: we grant you permission to re-use our content for your E&C newsletters.
Never Miss an Issue: Subscribe to Compliance Communicator
Memo to Managers
5 Ways Managers Can Help Make Ethics & Compliance Real for Their Teams
Despite our best efforts, ethics and compliance training and requirements can seem like distractions to front-line employees. Managers who bring E&C principles to life for their teams can have a major, positive impact–not only on their teams, but also on their organization’s efforts to mitigate compliance risk.
So how can you help your team see the value in compliance—and make E&C real for your team? Here are five ways managers can have a true impact:
- Help them filter the noise and get to what matters most. While our code of conduct is broad and applies to all employees, there will be some aspects of the code or specific policies that are particularly applicable. Make sure your team keeps the most relevant polices, laws and regulations top of mind. When they have a robust understanding of the policies, they will naturally learn how to comply. Offer additional training when and where appropriate.
- Share your approach to E&C. Share (appropriate) examples of your decision-making process with your team—particularly when there are grey areas to be navigated. Demonstrate your willingness to go to the E&C or HR team for advice and guidance. Modeling willingness to collaborate and seek guidance will give them permission to do the same.
- Set aside (even a little) time for team discussions about E&C. Ask your team to share examples—from their work experience or from current events—for discussion with the team. Even taking five minutes in your next team meeting to have someone present a brief situation that involved a difficult ethical choice that’s pertinent to their role or your business—and the outcome of that choice—can have a major impact.
- Showcase senior executive commitment. Share examples of top-level executive team decisions that your team might not otherwise know about. Employees who understand that there is a deep commitment to E&C at the highest levels of the organization are more likely to commit themselves.
- Reiterate available resources for E&C help. Make sure your employees know you are always willing to help them work through tough decisions and unclear situations. Remind them of their allies in HR, Legal and E&C who are ready and willing to help.
Ensuring employees see E&C as a vital component of their personal success—and the company’s long-term health—is one of the key contributions managers can make to the success of our organizations.
Questions of the Month
Q. I’m worried that if I start talking about ethics and compliance topics with my team, someone will think that there’s a particular problem I’m trying to address.
Be straightforward with your team by sharing the purpose of your talk. First, let them know that there is no simmering internal compliance issue prompting your discussion. Second, share the good reasons you want to talk with them about E&C: understanding and adhering to E&C principles creates an understanding of the importance of E&C within the culture; helps organizations outperform competitors; and helps the organization manage risk. Keeping the big picture benefits and goals in front of the team will hopefully mitigate any suspicion that the discussions are aimed at a particular person or issue.
Q. Talking about ethics and compliance with my team is tough. I don’t feel like I have all the answers to the questions they might ask me.
This is a common concern. Remember that you don’t have to go it alone in answering questions. The compliance team is always here to help. You can refer team members to us—or invite a member of our team to join you during team discussions. We’re excited to partner with you in whatever way best supports you and your team.
Learn everything you need to know about effectively and efficiently managing your policies and procedures—from creation to attestation—in our comprehensive guide.
Using Compliance Communicator
Equipping managers with the skills they need to navigate the E&C challenges they face is critical. Use the content in Compliance Communicator to help keep compliance top of mind with your managers and strengthen your organizational culture. NAVEX Global grants you permission to publish any or all of the content to best suit your needs.
For more valuable content from our Advisory Services team, subscribe to our blog, Ethics & Compliance Matters™. You’ll find perspectives on the latest E&C trends that impact your program, and get insights on increasing program effectiveness.