2014 Trends: #6 The Arrival of Next Generation Codes & Communication Strategies

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Moving down our list of ethics and compliance trends to watch in 2014, trend number 6 focuses on the evolution of corporate Code of Conduct and communication within your organization (previous trends can be viewed here and here).

#6 The Arrival of Next Generation Codes & Communication Strategies

Get ready for major changes in how companies document and communicate their standards and policies. After years of discussion, we seem to have reached a “tipping point.” In increasing numbers, companies are now starting to make better use of technologies to revamp how they develop, design and distribute their Codes of Conduct and how they manage their policies. For many it’s become clear that the time has come for the typical corporate Code to be placed on the shelf along with paperback copies of thesauruses and bound volumes of encyclopedias.

Rethinking the design of the Code from the user’s point of view is the first step to repositioning the Code as a meaningful portal for employees. It should not only provide links to policies, but also engage the user with video and Burst Learning vignettes, inform them with infographics and examples, – all the while simplifying the interface. The new approach transforms the Code into a tool for awareness and training that is actually used by the employee when they have a question – which is when they are most open to learning – and saves valuable employee and management time in the long run.

Once it’s integrated with a platform that includes searchable policies and training resources, the Code itself can be greatly simplified from a wordy document of “dos and don’ts” to a brief, high-level summary of principles and aspirations. It is also easier to update on a regular basis, and becomes a cornerstone asset to elevate visibility around the overall ethics and compliance program.

Lean, linked and integrated Codes may not be right for every company, at least not yet, but look for elements of this new approach to become available and more common in the year ahead.

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