In my experience – Ethics policies are tucked away within a company’s code of conduct. Prior to year-end, every employee is required to go and review the policy and click on a little button on the bottom that states, “Accept.” Employees open the training material and go right to the last page and press accept on-line.
According to the 2011 National Business Ethics Survey® (http://www.ethics.org/nbes/files/FinalNBES-web.pdf), the increase in training observed from companies surveyed, has not resulted in a noticeable reduction in abuses.
|Select Survey Results|
|The proliferation of ethics standards and ethics training increased||2000||2003||2005||2007||2009||2011|
|Written standards for ethical conduct||79%||68%||83%||83%||n/a||82%|
|Training on company standards of ethical workplace conduct||54%||50%||65%||75%||n/a||76%|
|But the impact is questionable|
|Pressure to compromise their company’s ethical standard is flat||14%||11%||11%||10%||8%||13%|
|Abusive Behavior declined slightly||24%||22%||20%||21%||22%||21%|
|Discrimination is flat||16%||14%||12%||13%||14%||15%|
|Stealing is flat||13%||13%||12%||11%||9%||12%|
|Falsifying time reports or hours worked declined||20%||22%||16%||17%||n/a||12%|
|Sexual Harassment declined slightly||13%||14%||10%||10%||7%||11%|
Clearly there are many factors that can have an impact on the statistics presented. However, six data points for each criteria, over eleven years is significant.
So if the process of annually checking a box, prevalent in many organizations, does not work, what will be successful?
Raytheon Company (http://www.raytheon.com/responsibility/stewardship/ethics/ethics_over/index.html) claims they have a process that is yielding success. The program includes the following elements –Offer Ongoing Ethics education – Annual, peer group training sessions where real workplace issues are discussed; periodic e-mails to staff, which review ethics situations; and on-line learning modules for completion are distributed; Advocate ethics activities within the community; Establish an Ethics office, to allow for the reporting of abuses, by employees, i.e. whistle blowers; and, Create metrics and track progress.
What is your experience?© Copyright 2012 Regis Quirin, All rights Reserved. Written For: CFO Tips - What you need to know, to be a CFO TODAY!