ETHICS EDUCATION IS A GAMBLE, SO HOW DO YOU PLAY THE ODDS?
What is the ‘gamble’ with ethics education? There are some considerations. Change the phrase from ethics training to ethics education. Can you train in ethics or do you educate in ethics? The difference needs to be defined, explained and accepted.
What is the attitude and commitment of senior leaders on the value and necessity of ethics education? If they do not support, fund, participate and commit to ongoing ethics education, as they do for compliance training, the odds of an ethical lapse is dramatically increased.
Ethics education must be an ongoing process by which application of theories, dealing with pertinent issues and creating a co-existence with compliance on an equal basis, is crucial.
It is important to make sure your employees understand the differences and likenesses between compliance and ethics, to prevent them from perceiving them as being the same.
Tone at the top is only the beginning. The tone in the middle is just as crucial, as middle-level leaders are the ‘front line’ when it comes to resolving ethical issues. These leaders need to be educated in the process of thinking ethically to stop any infraction from getting worse at the least and resolving the issue at best. It is always worth the effort to spend time and money in investing in educating your compliance professionals in the process of thinking ethically.
One needs to view ethics education not as an expense but as an investment. How is your compliance training considered, as expense or investment?
Jul-Sep 2017 Issue
Frank C. Bucaro & Associates