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3 ways to make your company more ethical (and profitable)

More and more companies are realizing ethical behavior is good for business.

When ethical behavior becomes part of the culture, companies benefit from:

  • Higher employee retention
  • Stronger brand reputation
  • Increased diversity and inclusion
  • Higher investor confidence.

Happier talent leads to a stronger brand which feeds a better bottom line.

Knowing the rules isn’t enough

Educating employees about compliance is a vital, continuous process. Yet, building a world-class culture of integrity isn’t simply about adhering to a bunch of rules. It’s about changing attitudes and behaviors. Organizations must communicate their values to employees in ways that reinforce ethical principles while ensuring behavioral change.

Here are 3 ways you can increase the impact of your ethics and compliance training program on employee behavior, ultimately leading to better business results.

1) Make the learning stick

Some employees learn by doing, some learn by watching, and others have to watch, do, and learn remotely. Organizations that are attuned to their employees’ different learning styles have greater success affecting change. Large organizations or companies that employ remote staff can also benefit from a diverse array of training methods and means of delivery.

Live training/coaching will always be an integral part of every ethics and compliance program. BUT video and social tools can easily leverage key learning points to reinforce and sustain what is being taught. Regardless of where your learners go, these tools can go with them. According to one white paper, great video content is the key to unlocking the hearts and minds of the millennial generation.

2) Increase the fun factor

The research is in: laughing makes learning better! A new HR study revealed that 90% of employees place an emphasis on training that is engaging and fun. At Second City Works, we know humor can be a vehicle to address tricky subject matter. It can help strengthen bonds between people, communities, and organizations.

In the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, a group of researchers noted that “boredom may be the largest pedagogical obstacle to teaching.” As they incorporated humor into the teaching process, they noted that “humor often plays with meaning, [which] helps individuals change their current mental perspective by visualizing problems in an alternate way, as well as engaging their critical thinking.” Brilliant.

Have you ever considered adding improv training into the mix?

3) Broadcast what you value: Engage. Reinforce. Repeat.

One-and-done check-the-box training may satisfy legal requirements, but it will not affect long-term change. Employees’ instincts need to be shaped around ethical issues. Deloitte finds that “messaging needs to be explicit and repeated so that organizational values become embedded in how work gets done.” In other words, show them what positive ethical behavior looks like and do it often.

E&C officers also need to borrow from their coworkers in marketing and strategically use ongoing communication as part of a long-term campaign. If done effectively, a campaign will deliver value by increasing awareness, engagement, and retention.

With helpful resources such as email templates, memes & posters, online discussion forums, and facilitator guides, an effective campaign can be used to drive conversations and reinforce key messages creatively and more effectively.

Behavioral change is hard. However, a program can radically improve its chances of success if it engages users with interactive training and repeatedly deploys the message via a variety of content and platforms. It’s a multi-channel effort that’s only as good as its content but when executed properly, it can produce compelling business results.

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