Next week, ethics and compliance departments at organizations across the country will celebrate Corporate Ethics and Compliance Week, an opportunity to highlight the essential connection between business integrity and ethics.
As part of your department’s observance of the week, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to communicate with middle managers in your organization—often the first to hear and respond to internal ethics and compliance concerns—by raising their employee awareness of ethics and compliance program resources available to them.
To help you do so, we have pulled together five “Memos to Managers” that our Advisory Services team—comprised of highly experienced compliance professionals—developed for your use in communicating to your organization the importance of key ethics and compliance-related issues.
Feel free to utilize the content at these links as part of your own Compliance and Ethics Week activities to advance awareness across your organization. Also, sign up for Compliance Communicator to receive our monthly “Memo to Managers” and associated Q&A for dissemination across your organization.
Memo to Managers: Making the Most of Our Code of Conduct
As you know, our company has a number of ethics and compliance resources in place to ensure that everyone understands our expectations and standards. These resources include training modules, our hotline and our code of conduct.
Our code of conduct may be the most underutilized resource that we have. It is an excellent summary of our ethics and compliance standards, and it includes information about what we need to do to report problems and ask questions. And yet, for the most part, employees only refer to the Code once a year during the annual certification process….. (Read the rest of the Memo here.)
Memo To Managers: Addressing Retaliation
In order for our company to maintain an ethical culture it is vital that we all speak up when we see violations of our standards and policies or of the law. When we don't, our culture degrades; small issues become big issues and serious harm can be done to our reputation and our bottom line.
Unfortunately, at every company, individuals who observe violations choose not to report. Sometimes they simply don't want to make waves, but many times they decide not to say anything because they are afraid of retaliation….. (Read the rest of the Memo here.)
Memo to Managers: Social Networking in the Workplace
More than 75 percent of American workers use some form of social networking, and that number is likely to increase. And it’s not just younger workers who are using social media tools; employees in all age brackets are online and interacting in significant numbers.
While social networking offers new and interesting ways for people to communicate and get work done, it can also create some risks for you personally and for your organization….. (Read the rest of the Memo here.)
Memo To Managers: Insider Trading Misconceptions
A common misconception among employees is that insider trading is only an issue for senior executives, because employees at lower levels don’t have access to “inside information.” Too many assume that they don’t ever come across the kind of information which, when acted upon, draws the attention of federal prosecutors.
In fact, employees at any level can possess information that could be used to make illegal stock transactions under U.S. law – and the laws of most other countries. A number of information types fall into this category: news about new products or manufacturing processes; possible acquisitions or divestitures; information about the Company’s finances or sales; or news about executives or business strategies….. (Read the rest of the Memo here.)
Memo To Managers: Ethics and Compliance Investigations
As a manager, you may have questions about the role you should play when there has been an allegation that our policies or our Code has been violated. The answer falls into three main buckets:
- When you are the person accused
- When you are not the person accused
- If you learn of a potential violation of our policies or Code
Our goal is to surface problems and resolve them as quickly and fairly as possible….. (Read the rest of the Memo here.)