The case for an interactive, online code of conduct

Are you still using a PDF to communicate your code of conduct? Don’t get us wrong, PDF codes have come a long way over the past 20 years. We’ve made them quite engaging with images, colors, graphics, and beautiful visual design. We’ve also incorporated robust navigation tools that almost approach a web-based experience—almost. 

But after all that time and effort, are your employees actually using the code as a reference to help them deal with situations that may arise in their day-to-day work? How would you know? If they do open up the code from time to time, what are they looking for? What topics are they most interested in? How much time are they spending? Well, it’s a PDF, so there’s no way of knowing. 

Why a web-based experience matters for code of conduct effectiveness 

Adapting E&C program elements to the evolving workforce—like a web-based code of conduct—is essential to improving program effectiveness because it meets employees where they are. According to the 2023 E&C Program Effectiveness Report, 80% of programs have made significant changes in the last year to meet the needs of employees working remotely and on a hybrid basis. These programs were over seven times more likely to prioritize having a code of conduct and policies that are searchable and web-based. 

Although web-based codes of conduct do not yet have wide adoption, there are clear signs that more and more E&C programs plan to develop them in the coming year. LRN research found that while only 37% of E&C programs have a web-based code, 59% are prioritizing making their code web-based and interactive—a four percentage-point increase from last year.  

How to make your company code of conduct “smart” 

That’s where LRN’s new Smart Code solution comes in. Smart Code is a web-based code, hosted on LRN’s Catalyst platform. Making your code “smart” makes it navigable, searchable, and interactive— resulting in an enhanced user experience for your employees. People are used to getting their information on the internet, so this will be a familiar experience. What’s more, Smart Code automatically adapts to whatever device you are using: desktop with external displays, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. No more tilting your phone or “pinching” a PDF to make it big enough to read or find those links that you just know are embedded somewhere. 

On top of all that, what may be the most powerful feature of Smart Code is the data you will be able to glean from it. Smart Code comes with a robust dashboard of key metrics that you can access in real time. These metrics include total site visits, page views, session duration, time on page, most popular search terms, and much more. You will be able to measure the effectiveness of your communications and training programs in driving employees to the code.  

With Smart Code, you also gain valuable insights into emerging risks even before they get reported. Here’s a hypothetical. Suppose you see that multiple employees in one location have searched for “sexual harassment” in a short period of time. Something might be happening at that location that you might want to look into before it gets out of hand. 

The key takeaway 

With all the talk about making codes of conduct more accessible and searchable, and the parallel focus on data analytics, we are seeing more and more web-based codes pop up in the landscape. In fact, LRN’s 2023 E&C Program Effectiveness Report found that 72% of chief ethics and compliance officers who have high-impact ethics and compliance programs are prioritizing more accessible and searchable codes and policies for their companies. Smart Code is here to meet these new challenges and requirements. 

Click here for more information about Smart Code and to request a demo. Don’t hesitate. The time to bring your code of conduct into the 21st century is now.