3 best practices for branding your ethics and compliance program

October 5, 2021
Rebekah Oswalt

Building a brand for your company isn’t a novel idea. In order to stand out amongst competitors in a crowded market, you need to construct an identity that is memorable and unique. The same thinking applies to your ethics and compliance program: if you want your employees to buy in on ethics and compliance, you need to build a brand around your program that is recognizable—even fun.  

Branding was a key discussion topic at the Consero Corporate Ethics and Compliance Forum. I sat in on a panel moderated by LRN’s own Senior Advisor, Susan Divers, who led a thought-provoking and motivational conversation around building a brand for your compliance program. Included in the discussion were the following guest speakers: 

  • Debra Fincher–Director, Ethics & Compliance, Texas A&M AgriLife Research 
  • Catherine Razzano–Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation 
  • Jennifer Bou–Senior Associate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Vitalant 

The panel talked about how building a brand can be a simple, effective way to generate awareness and excitement for compliance training. They also explored how branding can help staff members remember who to reach out to in the E&C department when a situation or question arises. 

3 best practices for effectively branding your ethics and compliance program 

Ethics and compliance teams are not solely the sheriffs of the organization, but that’s often how they’re perceived. The good news is that branding can help change that perception. During the panel, I had the pleasure of hearing best practices from E&C leaders illustrating how to create effective brand campaigns around their respective compliance programs.  

  1. Give your E&C program a name. How you describe your E&C program can help distinguish it from other company initiatives and make it memorable. A simple way to do that? Give it a name. For example, Jennifer Bou talked about bringing name recognition to Vitalant’s compliance program by simply calling the program “We comply.” Her team deployed a campaign to generate awareness to both the program and ethics and compliance department. The name is easily recognized by employees and has brought a positive response to training and the compliance group as a whole.
  2. Bring it to life with real-life scenarios. Employees are not going to retain theoretical information about how to think and act ethically; they need to see realistic examples in order for learning to stick. One way to achieve this is by creating program materials featuring real-life situations that require ethical decision-making. For example, Catherine Razzano spoke about the Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s “Compliance Hero or Zero” video campaign, designed in conjunction with LRN. Panasonic deployed videos promoting their program that incorporated real-life ethics and compliance scenarios. Learners then had to decide if the character's reaction made them a compliance “hero” or “zero.” The training videos were well received and fun for Panasonic Avionics’ learners.
  3. Create a communications plan to reinforce your E&C program. Many companies are using a blend of ethics and compliance training and communication strategies to truly connect with their learners. Developing an E&C communications plan can help increase the internal recognition of your training—even if you’re starting with just one method of communication like email. For example, LRN has an advanced email editor tool that provides eight pre-built templates for designing professional E&C email communications 

The key takeaway 

An effective compliance program can reduce your risk, increase employee retention, and lead to better business outcomes.Creating an E&C brand that stands out and evokes a positive image can further your program success. To learn more about building a brand for your compliance organization, please get in touch with LRN’s growth team. 

About the Author

Rebekah Oswalt

Rebekah brings an eclectic background of sales and learning and development experience to her role at LRN. As an Ethics and Compliance Executive, she uses her learning expertise to help client partners strategize, create, and execute their E&C programs to deliver on organizational needs while ensuring they engage and inspire learners. Rebekah is well versed in best practices for implementing impactful compliance training programs that focus on anti-harassment, code of conduct, and other key topics. She earned her BA in speech communications and rhetoric from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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