1. Making clear the differences and likenesses between compliance and ethics, including the different approaches to training/education of each.
2. Compliance training needs to be ongoing, so must the approach, financial investment and how ethics compliments the compliance training initiative.
3. The understanding and the reality that compliance experts, have their hands full regarding compliance regulations, implications and safeguards. With this in mind, how can ethics education/training maintain “equal footing” with compliance, particularly without an ethics expert to help the compliance expert by taking off the pressure of trying to train in both areas effectively.
4. The active involvement, support (including financial), encouragement of senior leaders who see the value of ethics equally as important as compliance in their organizations.
5. The necessity of re-defining, re-evaluating and re-doing the organization’s code of ethics. This presumes that there is a code of ethics that is not misconstrued as a code of conduct. If there isn’t a code of ethics, now would be the time to put considerable effort in developing one. Keep in mind that a code of conduct reflects compliant behavior. A code of ethics reflects the spirit, importance, reasons and motivation that complements the code of conduct.
6. Spend time evaluating how your organization’s values are being stated, reinforced, modeled and part of your ethics education initiative. If there is no such attitude, commitment, or follow through, the values are meaningless.
As 2017 rapidly approaches, please consider some/all of these suggestions as programs, conferences, meetings, etc. are all planned.