September 13, 2022 | Reskill Your Workforce | 6 min read

What does it mean to do the right thing? Everyone’s answer to that question is different. Which is why — to maintain ethical and legal compliance — an organization must define “the right thing” for employees. That means articulating standards, explaining what you believe, and defining how you conduct business.

The best way to accomplish this is through a comprehensive, yet custom Global Code of Conduct.

Be Engaging, Be You

Every corporate culture is different, and thus, every code of conduct should be unique to fit its needs. While traditional Code of Conduct training can be dry and generic, modern compliance training can and should reflect your corporate culture and personality.

According to the Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES), culture is the most influential determinant of employee conduct, yet only 14% of employees report strong ethics cultures.

How does employee compliance training reflect your organization’s unique culture?

  1. It’s an opportunity to attract and welcome new employees to your organization.
    Your Global Code of Conduct is one way to build a clear picture of your organization and its core functions for job seekers and employees. What service do you provide? What gap do you fill within the marketplace? What’s your differentiator?

    By creating a comprehensive Global Code of Conduct, your organization can also showcase its commitment to legal and ethical behavior. Your code will serve as a public-facing indicator of the lengths you will go to protect your employees – legally and from a workplace safety perspective. It is a signal to the world that you will not tolerate wrongdoing or illegal behavior.
  2. It enables you to communicate your organization’s mission, vision, and values.
    How do you create and invoke a shared company purpose? Outline your organization’s “why,” or reason for being. As reported in GBES, 85% of employees working for organizations with a strong ethics culture indicate observing favorable outcomes when it comes to compliance.

    For Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s parent company), the overarching ethos is a commitment to kindness. Snap’s original code of conduct was a “straight-text word document” of legalese, said Nicole Diaz, global head of integrity and compliance legal. According to Compliance Week, Diaz and her team set out to overhaul the code. “We knew we wanted to update it to reflect what I think is our biggest asset, which is the culture of the company,” she said. The distinction in company culture — and its presentation — earned Snap the honor of 2022 Compliance Program of the Year.
  3. You can demonstrate buy-in from the top down.
    The best way to show your organization’s collective purpose is to demonstrate how to do the “right thing" from the top down. Enlist executives or key stakeholders to record first-person messages within your compliance training program. These messages should include expectations for compliance, personal anecdotes, and ways to report issues in a safe way.

    In a Forbes article, Thomas Sehested explained why this is crucial to team mentality. “Executives, management, and business leaders can play an active role in establishing and monitoring the compliance strategy,” Sehested wrote. “This will require clear communication between these leaders and the compliance program. To begin with, leaders must not transmit the idea that compliance is a ‘necessary evil.’ Employees are more likely to get on board if they understand that, when implemented correctly, compliance can become a competitive advantage.”
  4. It fosters a safe and ethical work environment.
    Virtually every workplace training program aspires to compliancy. Whether it be diversity, equity and inclusion training, proper interaction with vendors and customers, or sexual harassment reporting — training should begin with a well-defined code that employees can follow.

    Hill International, Inc., a leader in managing construction risk, needed a global safety training solution for its 2,700 professionals in 50 offices worldwide. In addition to a compliance course, the company issued employees supplemental assignments with Legal Impacts and Compliance Shorts, all in multiple languages. Of 800 employees polled, 34% said they face an ethical decision weekly and the training provided them with a reliable process for making the right decision.

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Grow Revenue through Compliance

The average overall cost of non-compliance is $14.82 million annually — up 45% since 2011. But according to a report by Complysci, “Centralizing the compliance function, or at least standardizing the way people in different divisions or departments comply, can yield the biggest rewards for firms, in terms of lowering compliance expenses and making the idea of ‘non-compliance’ even less attractive.”

A customized compliance solution is not only good for company culture; it can actually save money and inspire growth.

Compliance Training that makes an Imprint

For compliance training that “sticks,” Skillsoft is launching its new Global Code of Conduct solution. Based on neuroscience, the interactive content shows employees how to address compliance concerns and make the “right” decisions every day.

Skillsoft’s solution lets organizations incorporate a custom welcome message from top-level executives, add corporate mission statements, policy language, and reporting procedures.

With 27 content modules in 30+ languages, Skillsoft’s program covers a wide variety of compliance issues for a global audience. Top risk topics include:

  • Anti-bribery
  • Antitrust
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Avoiding discrimination and promoting diversity
  • Business ethics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data privacy and information security
  • Gifts, gratuities, and entertainment
  • Insider dealing
  • Preventing harassment and promoting respect
  • Promoting reports of misconduct
  • Protection of company information/intellectual property

Within the course template, risk areas are introduced via video, further explored through short, instructional messaging, and reinforced with skill-building interactions.

What’s more, it’s easy to implement. Global Code of Conduct integrates with the Skillsoft Percipio Compliance learning management system as well as other third-party platforms, so it’s available to all Skillsoft customers. And HTML-based instructional content allows for ease of customization at a lower cost and shorter time to implementation.

Ready to implement a Global Code of Conduct within your organization? Contact sales today for customization options and to stay in the loop with all Skillsoft learning experiences.