We’re moving into a new era of corporate ethics underpinned by voluntary disclosure against the backdrop of an evolving regulatory landscape.
As a result, Ethics managers have an increasingly vital role to play today within their businesses.
But with growing demands from regulation and the many examples of scandals surrounding misconduct that we see emerging, Ethics officers need to up their game.
How can they achieve this in 2024? Let’s take a look at some key steps.
- Review your organisation’s approach
First things first. It’s time to take stock. Do you feel that your organisation’s approach, processes and infrastructure supporting your ethics and compliance is match-fit and equipped for 2024 onwards and the decade to come? Have you got the right tools and technology in place or are you lagging behind? The following points may help you determine the answers and give you food for thought.
- Infrastructure fit for purpose
Even if your organisation has the best ethics officer, you can’t build a system purely on their shoulders. You need to think of developing a top class ethics program, underpinned by leading technology and the right infrastructure. Think of it in a similar way to building a super fast train. You can build the fastest, most impressive train imaginable, but if you’re running on the old tracks it won’t fit or work. That is what the traditional hotline is – an old rusty track that we need to replace with updated, modern materials.
- Capitalising on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Those new tracks described above mean a digital platform – a modern hotline powered by AI. Finding an effective AI platform can cut through the outsourced call centre as a solution for employee reporting. This, in turn, helps Ethics and Compliance Directors to enhance their own value to their organisations by reducing costs and increasing efficacy. AI can provide a company with its own internal hotline without needing to employ a single person. The tech can operate it for you.
- Enhancing efficiency
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to making your department (and the processes that flow from it) more efficient. Technology is the key here. Here are some questions to help determine whether more efficiency is possible in your program: Are your current methods for reporting up quick and agile? Are you able to instantly, automatically triage all case management for allocation and assignment? Do your HR applications and software speak to each other seamlessly and integrate well?
- Build a Speak Up culture
Arguably at the heart and centre of it all is the need to build and advance a speak up culture within your organisation. Not simply to issue instructions, build policies and enforce them, but to encourage, cultivate and stimulate an ethos throughout the business where employees are empowered to expose where wrongdoing is happening – be it bribery, conflict of interest, fraud or something else. Having a system that puts employees first is essential for this so the culture spreads throughout, reaching every individual.
- Catch up with regulatory trends
We promised five steps, but here’s a bonus sixth – and it’s one that really can’t be ignored. There is an increasing and evolving list of regulations across North America and Europe covering workplace misconduct, such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, EU Whistleblower Directive and Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We’ve also seen the UK’s financial services regulator, the FCA, begin an investigation into the non-financial misconduct of banks and insurance firms.
Staying on top of this increasingly regulatory scrutiny is critical for Ethics and Compliance Officers.
How can Vault Platform help?
Our solutions can help your organisation with all of the steps outlined above. There are many ways we can support your business and as you build your Speak Up culture, including our AI-powered hotline – Vault Talk – or our new Advanced Routing feature, which supercharges efficiency in case management.
We believe companies can be protected from major risks – perhaps the next big crisis, scandal or lawsuit – if their people are protected too. Our platform delivers the true opportunity to Speak Up.
Book a call with one of our specialists to find out more.