Recent financial scandals have highlighted the importance of business ethics and compliance. Yet a recent National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) survey of 280 corporate CEOs and directors found that “only one of three directors felt that they were highly effective in ensuring compliance with the law.”
Ethics in Business
Most companies realize that they need to develop and implement a business ethics and compliance program
An effective program is :.
o Bring protocol that reduces the risk of criminal behavior
o Identify injustice, foster quick investigations, minimize the consequences of
o demonstrate ethical / legal philosophy of the company during the investigation
o Reduce fines if company is found guilty of wrongdoing
o Increase business reputation and stature
Looking at Options
But how to build an effective system? Companies find themselves with three options to build applications
o Develop in-house from scratch
o Hire external consultants
o Use pre-written manual
And most of these companies learn a few lessons -. sometimes the hard way
Making Strong Company Policy
Development program from scratch can be very time consuming and expensive. Also, the company might not have the knowledge or understanding of the complexities involved. But hiring an outside consultant is not always a cost effective option either. So what’s left?
develop business Ethics Program
By using pre-written template or manual, many companies have found it easier to develop business ethics program. And to do this, they look for what a strong program needs
A very effective tool to create, plan and execute sound business ethics and compliance program should provide :.
o Sample policies and procedures
o Step-by-step guide for the development of a program
o A business ethics training program outline with classroom materials and follow a detailed session leader is
o Business Ethics and Compliance Officer position description
o Templates for the involvement of employees
or Sample Code of Conduct
Implementation of Business Ethics Program
If the Board is committed to a strong ethics and compliance program, the next step is to put the manual in the hands of corporate executives responsible for implementation. Used properly under advice of counsel, this efficient tool will yield a solid program that the board understands, assign, and monitor effectiveness.
with step-by-step instructions and follow the examples of policies, procedures, training program, and poll worker, an effective tool provides an excellent road map for the implementation of the ethics and compliance initiatives.
Maintaining a Culture of Ethics
Companies should ensure that their ethics compliance manual provides fully editable MS Word files with sample policies, surveys, forms and training session outlines. Also, companies should ensure ethics compliance system manual is to be fully supported by the National Association of corporate executives (NACD) as a tool to maintain a culture of integrity.