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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

Culture Matters, 25.10.05


The Ethics Resource Center's recently released 2005 National Business Ethics Survey is welcome confirmation of the trends we have been seeing: if an organization wants to reduce the risk of unethical conduct, it must focus more effort on building the culture than on building a compliance infrastructure.

Based on interviews with over 3,000 employees and managers nationwide, the survey disclosed that despite the increase in the number of ethics and compliance program elements being implemented, desired outcomes, such as reduced levels of observed misconduct, have not changed since 1994. Even more striking is the revelation that while formal ethics and compliance programs have some impact, it is the organizational culture that has greater influence in determining program outcomes.

Only lagging companies still measure the success of their ethics and compliance programs only by tallying the percentage of employees that have certified reading the Code and attended ethics and compliance training. The true indicator of success is whether the company has made significant progress in achieving key program outcomes. The NBES listed several key outcomes that can be used to determine the success of a program:

  • Reduced misconduct observed by employees;
  • Reduction of pressure to engage in unethical conduct;
  • Increased willingness of employees to report misconduct;
  • Greater satisfaction with organizational response to reports of misconduct.

    What's going to move these outcomes in the right direction? Not the mere presence of codes of conduct, reporting systems, and compliance training.

    What the NBES uncovered is that only by influencing key elements of the culture will the organization see positive movement in program outcomes.

    [Read on for more on relating Ethics-Related Actions to your compliance programme.]

  • Comments

      Integrity is something one has, or they don't have. Organizations that use solid recruiting techniques should be able to find honest hardworking, ethical people. Assuming that basic is covered off, then put reward programs in place that only reward a mix of volume (of whatever your industry is) and quality achieved using a specified process. Those that break the rules intentionally, to the detriment of the customer, colleagues, and the organization, (or any combination of) and it can be proven...only way to show everyone that the organization is serious, is to send that person packing.

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    "We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
    Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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