What is ethics?
Ethics is doing whats right not just because of the wording of the government or law. Ethics is something you individually choose to consider before you take action; its the expressed intention to observe the law. A lack of ethics amongst employees and stakeholders can be disastrous to any organization.
Ethical compliance: What should it look like?
The trick to having effective compliance and ethics programs is balance. Your programs should be understood and supported by a strong leadership team. If your compliance rules, policies and processes are too complex, unwieldy or overbearing, guess what will happen? Your employees will stop following the rules and/or question which ones are worth adhering to. Next thing you know, theyre operating outside of your compliance controls.
Public companies and their C-suite team and board members could be held personally responsible for certain aspects of compliance and ethics. For best results, organizations should consider taking a value-based approach to ethical compliance. The executive team should thoroughly understand the culture and compliance controls that exist at any and all levels of their company.
You should try to position your ethical compliance programs as a part of the company culture if it feels like the responsibility of every individual and a respected part of your organization, employees are far more likely to adhere to the rules. These policies should be applied fairly to all stakeholders, including the board members and senior executives.