Best practices for a successful ethics and corporate compliance programme

(2) Adopt and communicate an ethical profile

Ethics begins at home. The foundation of an effective ethics and corporate compliance programme is a strong and well-communicated code of ethics which can be best represented in terms of policies and procedures. These policies and procedures define the culture and expected behaviour of everyone working in or with the organisation. When there are multiple subsidiaries spread out across different geographies, policy creation needs to take into consideration various factors such as subsidiary location and industry.?

The key to policy creation is to ensure that policies are applicable globally as well as locally. This helps ensure that there are no gaps or loopholes in compliance. Automated tools can add further value by simplifying the process of policy management.

(3) Train employees on compliance policies?

No organisation can fully comply with regulations if its employees do not follow organisational policies and procedures. Investing in employee training is always a smart move. Employees need to understand the organisation?s culture and its ethical boundaries. Technology can play an important role here in the form of learning or training management systems that make it easy to conduct and track multiple training programmes.

(4) Integrate hotlines with the corporate compliance programme

Many organisations have found it useful to have hotline numbers for employees to anonymously report issues of bribery, fraud, ethical violations, discrimination, and other incidents of misconduct at the workplace. Integrating hotlines with the company?s corporate compliance programme can be effective as it helps in tracking each issue from creation to closure.

(5) Adopt a risk-based approach to compliance management

A risk-based approach to compliance and ethics management involves identifying the high risk areas within the organisation, and then prioritising, managing, and monitoring those risks. Compliance risks can be measured and scored from different perspectives such as per business unit, process, and geography. Based on the risk rating, organisations can effectively plan control testing. Issues can be also prioritised based on rating, impact, likelihood, or type.

No organisation can comply with rules and regulations overnight. Compliance is a continuous process that requires businesses to keep setting new goals, leverage technology to achieve these goals, assess the results, and again work towards improving the results by setting new objectives. This continuous process will help corporate compliance become an integral part of the business.

Khushboo Sinha is a senior associate at MetricStream.

The digital age has made consumers grow weary about what happens to their data. As such, we talked with experts from Striata to find out which steps businesses can take to establish a relationship of trust.

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