In addition to the core elements of an ethics programme - a code of ethics, training and communications - organisations should consider the context for the programme.
Every aspect of corporate culture needs to be harnessed and every corporate policy needs to be in line with ethical commitments.
Below are just a few suggestions for extending the read of an ethics programme. Contact us for advice on any aspect of making your ethics programme effective.
It is good practice to establish a board level committee with oversight for establishing, reinforcing and monitoring the ethics policy and identifying ethical risks and opportunities. See Board Ethics Committees, IBE Briefing 5
Speak up mechanisms
Employees should know how to seek advice or raise concerns about potential breach of the code of ethics and a non-retaliation policy should be in place. It is important to monitor the effectiveness of these mechanisms. See IBE Good Practice Guide: Speak Up.
The core element of an ethics programme will be a Code of Ethics.
The process for drawing up a code of ethics is critical in maximising its effectiveness.
A communications strategy for the ethics programme aims to raise awareness of the organisation’s values.
Ethics training raises awareness around the code, what is acceptable business practice and where support can be found.
Additional tools and mechanisms to keep the code alive and support staff to apply ethical values to the work they do.
The board needs to establish a programme of assurance to understand whether the organisation is living up to its ethical values.