Second annual survey reveals the shift from traditional compliance to proactive ethics as a key business driver
Convercent, the leading provider of cloud ethics and compliance management software, in partnership with Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining the standards of ethical business practice, today released the second annual 2017 Ethics and Compliance Survey. According to the 2017 survey, the importance of an ethical business culture is rapidly gaining visibility at the top level of organizational leadership and taking its rightful place as a long-term differentiator. The past year of ethics scandals and public compliance failures across industries further validates the need for a top-to-bottom ethical culture. This year’s survey of over 300 ethics and compliance professionals examines this shift from reactive, check-the-box compliance to proactive ethics.
“Core values and a focus on ethical behavior has never been more critical for long-term business success. More and more companies are waking up to the fact that an ethics-based culture is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s necessary for survival amidst a global ethical transformation,” said Patrick Quinlan, CEO and Co-Founder of Convercent. “With Ethisphere’s help, this year’s report narrows in on key areas of focus for leaders trying to navigate this shift. The survey illuminates the toughest challenges, biggest opportunities, and evolving technologies for companies working to establish programs oriented around proactivity and doing the right thing.”
“As a leading advocate for the creation and application of global ethical business standards, Ethisphere is pleased to partner with Convercent on this survey of more than 300 business ethics leaders from across the United States and abroad,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, EVP and Executive Director of Business Ethics Leadership Alliance. “Ethics continues to evolve as a key component of any modern business plan it is essential that practitioners base their activities on sound research and that enables the most impactful solutions.The 2017 survey reveals several key issues facing ethics professionals including outdated technology and ineffective processes. At the same time it highlights how companies can address challenges related to developing and executing meaningful ethics programs through greater data analysis, assigning meaningful metrics, and conducting efficient communication .”
Specifically the report includes the following:
- Today’s Biggest Ethics and Compliance Challenges: Chief Compliance and Ethics Officers face unprecedented external and internal scrutiny around ethical blunders. At the same time, many still lack the technology and tools needed to (1) effectively aggregate and analyze data or (2) gain the high level view needed to tie ethics and values to the financial and strategic goals of the organization. Most CECOs are forced to gather siloed data from multiple departments. This alone is a huge contributor to lack of data visibility and ultimately inhibits proactivity.
- Why Tapping Into the ‘Voice of the Employee’ is Critical: Effective intake methods are critical for gaining insight into the ethical health of an organization. Prioritizing what employees communicate and also how they communicate is crucial. For example, nearly 73 percent of employees in Ethisphere’s overall culture data set say they raise concerns with their manager; however many respondents admitted they do not track open door reports. This indicates many organizations are missing out on critical insights into the health of the organization.
- Proof CECOs are Taking a Seat at the Table: This year’s survey found ethics and compliance professionals are getting more access to CEOs than ever before. Forty-seven percent said they speak with their CEOs more than once a month. And nearly half (44 percent) say they report regularly to the board. This is a positive indicator that top-line leadership is increasingly recognizing compliance and ethics as critical business differentiators.
About this survey:
- The survey collected 335 responses from senior-level executives in ethics, compliance, or anti-corruption.
- Nearly 48 percent held respondents of compliance and ethics officer or chief compliance officer. Thirteen percent were general counsel or chief legal officer.
- The median employee headcount was 8,200; the majority of organizations’ revenue was between $1 billion and $8 billion.
Convercent is the leading provider of ethics cloud software that helps global enterprises maximize performance by bringing ethics to the center of their business. Companies use Convercent’s Ethics Cloud to hear the voice of their employees, understand organizational behavior, and make informed decisions to protect their culture. The Convercent Ethics Cloud applications include: Helpline and Case Manager, Learning Manager, Policy Manager, Disclosure Manager and Convercent Insights.
Convercent has more than 550 customers worldwide, including: Microsoft, The Four Seasons, Capgemini and Under Armor. The company’s rapid success is fueled by product innovation and a unique culture. Convercent is backed by venture capital funding from Sapphire Ventures, Tola Capital and Azure.
The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with the Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs that include: Ethics Inside® Certification and Compliance Leader Verification™. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://www.ethisphere.com.