What to Include with Your Ethics Policy

An ethics policy won’t be effective if you aren’t diligent about reinforcing ethics training initiatives. Ethics training should also be an ongoing effort, not just a session or two during new hire onboarding. Learn more about what you should be including as part of your ethics training program. And discover how the ethics hotline can support all your company ethics policies.

Clear Definitions of Terms

Identify the various ethics policies by type and provide clear and transparent definitions for terms and expectations. You’ll want your training participants to first understand the rules and guidelines you’re setting forth in their most fundamental meanings. These terms and definition categories might include:

· Ethical conduct on-premise and off

· Company codes of ethics

· Regulatory and compliance

· Diversity ethics training

· Privacy and data protection

· Customer relations

Demonstrate Ethical Behaviors with Examples

In addition to definitions of ethics and your policy expectations, consider implementing various examples as demonstrations. Using examples within your training will help your staff to better understand situations and scenarios that can typically present themselves in the workplace. These examples might also involve:

· Role-playing scenarios

· Case studies of ethics violations in other companies

· Past learning examples within your company

Reinforce Violations and Consequences

Dedicate some of your training sessions to explaining and reinforcing what employees can expect should ethics violations occur. Outline your company’s series of steps to investigate, determine outcomes, and facilitate consequences for violations. Company protocols might include:

· A warning system for first-time violations

· Key management responsible for reporting, investigating, and determining

· Outline of consequences, write-ups, and termination

Increase Frequency of Training Sessions

Consider scheduling routine ethics training initiatives throughout the year and not just during new-hire employee training. As ethics change, so will your policies. And each adjustment to your company’s ethics policies warrants a more up-to-date round of training. Other benefits of regularly scheduled ethics training include:

· Reminders to employees about definitions and expectations

· A demonstrative method for prioritizing ethics to your staff

· Reduced ethics risks and policy violations

An Ethics Hotline to Support Your Ethics Policies

Probably the most important of your company’s training program is the ethics hotline. You’ll want an added layer of support for your employees. And the ethics hotline is just the mechanism to reinforce your policies. Because the hotline works anonymously, you’re essentially deputizing employees, vendors, customers, and visitors to keep an eye on your company’s ethics for you. It’s the tool that empowers others to take action should any improprieties (or appearance thereof) take place within your company. Other benefits of an ethics hotline include:

· It’s a cost-effective tool for ethics risk mitigation.

· It promotes a safe working environment.

· It improves company culture and equity.

· It’s a compliance must-have.

As you conduct your analysis for rounding out 2023, consider these insights and improvements for your ethics training initiatives in 2024. And when you’re ready to launch an ethics hotline, Ethical Advocate is here to help you with every step. Connect with our team today, and let’s get your company set up with a robust ethics training program and ethics hotline!