A company’s ethical standards are a major part of its identity, and one of the factors upon which customers will base buying decisions. A company that does not give proper priority to its ethical stance on important matters will suffer in the marketplace, so selecting the best type of compliance and workplace ethics training may be one of the most important decisions a company can make.
Public Perception and Advertising
Marketing and public relations will look to leverage ethical business practice as a major component in publicity and advertising. Plastic-free packaging, minimal waste and humane farming are not simply ‘good practice’; they are major marketing tools. Horse racing, a multi-million-pound international industry, was beginning to suffer as the public voice was raised in protest at the perceived cruelty of the sport, but is making a recovery as a result of the more ethical treatment of racehorses, and of the demonstrations of that treatment in practice.
Importance of Workplace Ethics Training
Regulations on compliance, which often cover ethical practice, change at a bewildering pace, and even professionals in the field find it hard to keep track of the law. It is hardly surprising that the ordinary member of a workforce, no matter how well-intentioned, may not be familiar with the laws that apply to their industry. And yet non-compliance may carry heavy penalties. Even experienced workers have expressed surprise and concern having watched a workplace ethics training video, or taken part in a short classroom exercise or lecture.
“I had no idea.”
Nowadays, most companies include workplace ethics training in their induction training for new employees a familiarisation with the ethical stance of the company, including advice and instructions on reporting unethical behaviour.
“So when he invited me to that football match …”
Classroom activities that involve role-playing exercises tend to be remembered by students. A lecturer talking about the importance of an end-user certificate for manufactured items may be an expert in the field; two students, one pretending to have such a certificate and the other insisting, politely, on seeing it, will create a far more memorable experience.
To avoid falling foul of regulations and laws on Compliance, a company must ensure that every member of the workforce is aware of relevant laws and regulations, and adheres to them. Experts in workplace safety and well-being are also beginning to emphasize the importance of courtesy and consideration. Where their advice is followed productivity has increased. Workers who are bullied or harassed are likely to be less efficient, more accident-prone, and exhibit increased levels of absenteeism. The best compliance training doesn’t only cover the legal aspects of compliance, it also focuses on the benefits and advantages of a friendly, safe, working environment where employees are treated well and feel able to speak up if they have a concern.
Not every member of staff needs to be knowledgeable in every aspect of regulatory compliance. However, the organization as a whole is under a legal obligation to be aware of existing regulations, and also to remain abreast of developments in the field of compliance.
Fortunately, compliance training experts can tailor compliance training courses to the particular needs of a company, and thereafter keep the company informed of regulatory developments, and offer further workplace ethics training as and when it is needed. As is often the case, the best professional advice will be the most cost-effective, and that advice will be directed towards prevention, rather than damage limitation when non-compliance has resulted from ignorance of the law, or from an under-estimation of the severity of its breach.