Ethics & Compliance Training: 8 Things Your Board Needs to Know

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[author: Charlotte Emerson]

What is online Ethics and Compliance training?

Ethics in the workplace is best described as the opportunity for employees to contribute, influence and lead by doing what is morally right. Compliance, on the other hand, is conforming to company policies and procedures as required by country laws and regulations.

Ethics and compliance training drives employee behavior to align with industry regulations and ethical values – improving company financial performance, brand reputation, and reducing compliance risk. Using the online delivery method of training, content is flexible, cost-effective, and can reach a larger audience than in-person training making it highly suited to today’s hybrid workplace.

What does ethics and compliance training cover?

  • Ethics and Employee Conduct
  • Harassment and Discrimination
  • Whistleblowing and Speaking Up
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • Bribery and Corruption
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Top 8 things your board needs to know about ethics and compliance training

1. Ethics and Compliance training improves financial performance

An organization investing in a comprehensive ethics and compliance training program can expect a 218% higher income per employee and a 24% higher profit margin. In addition, executives say 63% of their firm’s market value is due to their reputation, with companies considered “the world’s most ethical” outperforming large-cap firms by 24.6%

2. A training-based ethics and compliance program reduces misconduct

Creating an ethical and respectful workplace culture starts with understanding your organization’s values and the importance of speaking up on misconduct. A formal ethics and compliance training program will provide employees with a framework for what is and is not acceptable.

Research from the NAVEX 2018 Survey Benchmark Report shows 72% of employees believe creating a culture of ethics and respect is the top training program objective. Further, 56% of employees think a strong ethics and compliance training program is a top factor when preventing misconduct – higher than implementing a whistleblowing hotline, third-party monitoring, or a policy management system.

3. Compliance regulations are increasing around the world

The regulatory environment is rapidly increasing to keep up with societal trends and geopolitical events, especially over the last decade. Some recent ethical and compliance legal regulations include:

  • 2017 – Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (Australia)
  • 2018 – Anti-Money Laundering Directive and Data Protection Regulations (EU)
  • 2019 – Anti-Bribery Laws (Saudi Arabia)
  • 2021- EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, Executive Order on DEI (US) and Law and Economic Professional Gender Equality (France)

4. Incidents of misconduct and compliance fines are also increasing

Levels of misconduct and enforcement are on the rise and fines related to non-compliance are increasing around the world. Not only has the number of fines increased over the last decade but also the cost of the fine itself.

Rates of misconduct are on the rise – 432.58 million sets of data were breached in 2020 and 2021. In addition, 71% of companies uncovered fraud in the last 12 months, with a 19% increase in bullying in the workplace over the past 11 years. The fines have also increased, with one company recently fined €746 million for non-GDPR compliance.

5. Ethics and compliance training strengthens your legal defense

Evidence of an ethics and compliance training program can be your insurance policy, leading to reduced penalties from law-enforcement agencies if incidents occur. Companies with 500-5,000 employees can expect to save $20,000 a year on fines with an online ethics and compliance training solution. Further, companies can face up to a 50% decrease in their fines (or penalties) if they strongly commit to training their employees in ethics and compliance.

6. The costs of non-compliance go beyond fines and penalties

Companies without robust ethics and compliance programs may pay more for non-compliance mistakes. Non-compliance can cost a business in several areas and two times more than maintaining compliance, as of 2017. The average cost of compliance is $5.47 million compared to the average cost of non-compliance which is $14.83 million. Areas that can be greatly affected include productivity loss, which can total almost $4 million, while business disruption can cost more than $5 million.

7. Online training reduces your overall training costs

Online training is faster and more accessible for your employees than face-to-face training, saving costs on travel, accommodation and facility hire. Additionally, online training is more effective than in-person training – taking 40-60% less time to complete and allowing employees to retain up to 60% more information during the course. Online training also reduces the overall cost due to a reduction in travel and potential hotel expenses.

8. Not all training is the same

Not all training is created equally. Investing in a tailored ethics and compliance training program enables your organization to provide up-to-date content that adapts to specific roles and job requirements and tracks completion of courses.

High-quality online training should:

  • Be legally vetted
  • Cover specific topics
  • Be tailored training to your workforce’s needs
  • Include adaptive courses and interactive elements to better suit adult learning
  • Have an audit trail

To find out more about our available NAVEX online training courses, click here. Or, to learn more about how ethics and compliance training can positively impact your company’s finances, culture and external reputation, download our Ethics and Compliance Training Infographic webinar.

Download Here

View original article at Risk & Compliance Matters

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