An effective ethics management system is composed of policies, the commitment of senior management, audits, training, reporting channels, preventive and disciplinary measures, among others.
Looking to our workers, if we have these elements, we have people:
– That know the policies in this matter
– That receive training, where the “rules of the game” are established
– That have a channel where they can report faults against ethics
– That are part of audits that verify if the policies are being met
– That receive disciplinary measures, which generate disincentives
Under these circumstances, we would expect our organization to be in order, that we should not worry about violations of our ethics management system. But we know that this is not true. We are not on top of our collaborators 24/7 to guarantee, 100%, that they will comply. So, what can we do to motivate them to have a compliance behavior? To make them understand that they are part of the organization’s compliance? How to make sure that our worker will make a good decision, when he is alone and nobody watches him?
Yes, indeed what we have mentioned is important, and is an essential part of any good ethics system, but our workers need more: that the Compliance Officer visits them at their workplace, that the internal communication channels send reminders of how act in front of situations where an ethical conflict occurs, that each meeting that we maintain with our team starts with five minutes talking about the importance of the ethics of our organization.
We do not believe that the trainings or workshops, which normally take place on an annual or semester basis, are sufficient. Workers must feel that they live the ethics in their day to day, that this is part of the values that are held as an organization and that, in this sense, even when nobody is seeing them, they fulfill and respect this.