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The Impact of Celebration on Ethics & Compliance Programs

Among the surprising findings of last year’s PEI analysis was the clarity with which one set of behaviors, the celebration of ethical conduct, stood out as the most telling measure of program effectiveness.* This year the case is even clearer.

We asked how often respondents’ companies celebrated acts of ethical leadership and in what ways. The percentage of the top quintile who said that they did so “often” or “very often” in each category is as follows:

  • Awards, 55 percent;
  • recognition in team meetings, 45 percent;
  • recognition in company communications, 42 percent; and,
  • job promotions, 23 percent.

By contrast, not a single program in the bottom quintile reported that their companies “often” or “very often” celebrated acts of ethical leadership in any category.

As seen in Figure 4, the frequent, public celebration of ethical leadership is characteristic of programs with extremely high average PEI scores, ranging from 0.73 associated with recognition in team meetings and company communications, to 0.74 for those giving public awards, to 0.76 where ethical leadership forms part of the reason for promotions. Each of these behaviors speaks plainly of the degree to which ethical leadership is valued not just by the E&C program but by the business itself. This is not E&C as a layer of additional controls against the risk of compliance failure, but as a strategic focus on building an ethical, values-based culture. The analysis makes clear which approach works best.

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Topics: 2014 E&C Program Effectiveness Report