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Memo to Managers
5 Ideas for Improving Your Team Culture in the New Year
Managers who create positive, respectful team cultures are not only a tremendous asset to our organization, they help protect it from the legal, financial and reputation risk that can be caused by misconduct.
As we end this year and look ahead to next year, we want to encourage you to reflect on steps you can take to make your team culture even stronger. Consider the ideas below—and remember that the ethics and compliance team is here as a resource for you. We would love to help you brainstorm additional ways to help employees embrace our values and mission.
- Brainstorm Potential Risks: You are on the frontlines of behavior risk issues. What new issues do you see emerging—or potentially emerging—that we should stay ahead of? What existing risks might be greater in the coming year? For example, current world events and 2016 politics are almost guaranteed to increase discussions of race, religion and national origin in the coming year—and if those discussions turn derogatory, they could contribute to the creation of hostile environments and claims of discrimination. Are you ready to address such conversations in the workplace?
- Talk With Your Peers: Make time to talk with other managers, many of whom may be experiencing similar E&C challenges as you are. Find out what strategies they’ve tried in communicating with their teams, and what’s working—and not working—to really make a difference.
- Think About Incentives and Processes: Are there incentives, structures or processes that create pressure to bend the rules? For example, could financial rewards or job security concerns tempt employees to fudge data, use questionable methods to win sales, or hide failures to meet goals? Can you—or others— address these pressures and reduce the chance of misconduct?
- Consider Potential “Rewards”: Are there ways to applaud and acknowledge ethical behaviors on your team? Whether it’s just a verbal acknowledgement during a team meeting or a quick email—or something more formal like a certificate or mention in a newsletter—a little bit of recognition goes a long way in demonstrating your deep commitment to a culture of ethics and respect.
- Meet With Us: The ethics and compliance team wants to be a resource for you. If you have any concerns about managing your team, answering tough questions or want some ideas, perspectives, or coaching on maintaining a healthy team culture, please contact us at any time.
An organizational culture is only as healthy as its teams. Thank you for all you’ve done this year, and all you’ll do in the coming year to help us maintain a culture of ethics, integrity and respect.
Questions of the Month
Q: I’m under a lot of pressure in my job: making time to make sure all my employees are following the rules is not a place I feel like I can spend much time. If I can only do one thing, what should it be?
Lead by example. There are two components to this: Making appropriate decisions about your own behavior and communicating throughout the year about the importance of doing things the right way. If you make ethical decisions—even when there is additional cost or effort as a result—your team will take notice. Remember, nothing communicates more powerfully than actions. Then, reinforce your actions by reminding others of the importance of integrity. For example, periodically start or end meetings with a one-minute discussion about examples of integrity that you’ve seen at work or in the news.
Q: I am aware of an issue that violates an important policy. I also know that at least three employees have mentioned it to the senior manager in our group, but the issue has not been addressed. I know I’m expected to report potential violations of policies or our code of conduct, but since at least one senior leader is aware of the issue, do I still have a responsibility to do so? And what if I anger the senior leader by getting involved?
Yes, you definitely should raise your concerns. The fact that a senior manager is aware of the issue doesn’t change the problem, especially if nothing appears to have been done within a reasonable period of time. If the issue is being addressed and you simply are unaware of what is being done, there will be no harm in speaking up. But if the issue is truly going unaddressed, it is all the more important for others to learn about it. If you are worried about retaliation, you can always use our hotline to report the issue—and remain anonymous if you wish.
Get ahead of the challenges and opportunities the new year holds for E&C: our experts share their insights and practical strategies for keeping your program strong in 2016.
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.