Your company ethics policy isn’t a “set it and forget it” set of regulations. Working dynamics, employee needs, safety protocol, and rules of engagement are constantly shifting. And if it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed your ethics policies and standards, you could be operating in the blind. The best way to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of your current strategies is by conducting an ethics audit. With data in hand, you can learn so many things to help you improve and protect your teams, not to mention preserve your bottom line.
Determine What You’re Doing Right
An ethics audit can be great for discovering all the valuable steps you’re taking in the right direction. All too often, when you think of an audit, you think of finding failures and missteps. But one of the first takeaways you can examine involves scaling those processes that are effective and working well. It’s a good opportunity to acknowledge the managers involved in managing those “right” things, too. It’s generally recommended that you conduct these ethics audits every three years, if not more often. And over time, you can see a trajectory of “right” steps propelling your company forward in its most ethical operations.
Identify Areas of Ethics Violation Improvement
When conducted correctly and with the keen eye of a dedicated committee, an ethics audit will uncover any areas of your current ethics policy that needs improvement. Maybe there are new ethics concerns your current policy doesn’t address. Perhaps there are loopholes that others have taken advantage of that need to be closed. Additionally, it’s the ethics audit that will also point to key players among the ranks who might be sources of contention and lead you directly to the lacking departments or managers responsible.
Ensure You’re Addressing New Concerns
Times are changing, and so are codes of ethics. To keep up with the shifts in workplace engagement, safety, financial, and moral cultures, an ethics audit can be your best line of defense to continuously adapt. Understanding that there will always be a new playbook in enforcing and establishing ethics policies, it’s the ethics audit that will be your accountability measure to ensure flexibility and growth with the times.
Spot Trends to Help Policy Enforcement
An ethics audit is designed to also provide oversight on policy enforcement and your processes. It’s an examination of how your teams are handling the training, enforcement, and oversight ongoing. So, while you’re on point with identifying your ethics policies, you might be able to spot failures in the supporting processes that could use improvement.
Justify Implementing an Ethics Hotline
You might also find that an ethics audit points to a need for an ethics hotline. Ethics hotlines are essential tools and empower employees to report violations. And because hotlines are anonymous, anyone reporting a violation can feel confident in being protected from retaliation. Additionally, the subsequent data and metrics collected using the ethics hotline can add more insight to your ethics audit.
If you’ve waited a few years since your last ethics audit, it’s likely time to explore putting together a committee. And when you’re ready to explore the many benefits of an ethics hotline, Ethical Advocate can help!