To promote a productive, ethical, trust-based, and compliant work environment, organizations should “speech culture.A culture of speaking up goes beyond the whistleblowing helpline and includes a culture in which employees feel comfortable making voluntary disclosures of conflicts of interest.
Disclosures can be used to communicate details about gifts and entertainment, employee-manager relationships, side jobs, directors of another company, or other scenarios that may conflict with ethics and compliance policies. Employees are encouraged and expected to voluntarily disclose such information to their employers. Companies with healthy disclosure rates can be confident in their culture of speaking up.
But what’s the best way to assess and measure if a culture of openness is actually in place and how effective it is at achieving that goal?
Do disclosure rates closely reflect existing policy-related issues? Do employees regularly disclose situations that may conflict with ethics and compliance policies? Is silence more common?
Improving disclosure rate through employee engagement
Employees may feel uncomfortable disclosing their own potential conflicts of interest. For example, fear that voluntarily disclosing your outside employment may result in retaliation or demands to stop your outside employment, even if there is no actual conflict of interest or violation of company policy. There are cases.
Surprisingly often, employees are simply unaware of the disclosure process and how it works. Fortunately, communication and training can help raise awareness of the importance of understanding ethics and compliance policies and following the disclosure process.
Therefore, forward-looking organizations will look beyond hotlines to strengthen their culture of candor by providing employees with comprehensive ethics and compliance education, including training on disclosure and potential conflicts of interest. I am working hard.
Understanding that employees are ambassadors of the company’s values empowers them to express those values more effectively. They tend to speak up and encourage others to do the same. Disclosure rates have also increased over time, reflecting a more granular measurement of existing ethics and compliance policy issues.
companies using disclosure software To track this process, you can leverage the data generated to achieve many positive results.
Businesses can use Data Insights to:
- Increase employee awareness of the ethics and compliance disclosure process
- Empower employees to feel comfortable disclosing without fear of self-defense or retaliation
- Increase transparency, better understand risk, identify workplaces where risk may exist, resolve faster, and reduce legal risk
- Monitor employee activity related to disclosures, policies and training
- More effectively deter employees from engaging in unethical behavior
- Empower employee leaders while ensuring proper guardrails are in place
- Recommend areas of communication and training to enhance a culture of candor and a positive work environment
More communication means more engagement and better culture
Consider this last area, especially communication and training.
Disclosure rates stagnate when employees are ignorant or perhaps unaware of the organization’s ethics and compliance policies and procedures. As a result, companies’ ability to solve problems, build trust, and ultimately create an autonomous speaking culture is limited.
That’s why it’s important to engage employees from the moment they join the company, and on a regular basis thereafter. Organizations should go beyond regular training (which should ideally be as frictionless and enjoyable as possible) to train employees in jobs likely to involve potential ethics and compliance risks. Targeted training sessions should be conducted. Ensuring employee awareness and engagement using multiple channels such as newsletters, in-person training sessions, real-time chat services or applications, and email helps build a culture of candor.
When employees become aware of ethics and compliance policies and procedures, their overall engagement with disclosures increases significantly. The portal also provides data that, once analyzed, can point to areas of improvement regarding hidden areas of employee concern, evolving issues, or types of issues that may otherwise remain unresolved or unaddressed. to generate
And over time, organizations leverage continuous analysis to drive cycles of continuous improvement, minimize the chances of issues going unreported, and build the trust necessary for a culture of candor to exist. can be maximized.
How OneTrust can help
For more information on this and related conflict of interest issues, and the power of a culture of voice to help organizations manage risk, build trust, and significantly improve the work environment, visit Download our eBook, It includes a step-by-step guide to increasing awareness of your COI policy and improving your reporting rate.