Managing Ethics and Compliance During a Recession

LRN hosted a webinar on Managing Ethics and Compliance During a Recession.

The panel consisted of:

  • Marjorie Doyle, Practice Leader, Solutions Management at LRN
  • David Greenberg, Executive Vice President of Knowledge at LRN
  • Debra Hennelly, President and Senior Adviser at Compliance & Ethics Solutions LLC
  • Adam Turteltaub, VP of Membership Development at The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

An ERC survey found that 60% of employees who feel pressured to do misconduct said “keeping their job” was a reason. As the economy sours, there seems more pressure to perform and to take shortcuts to achieve that performance. In times of economic stress, it is better to over-inform rather than under-inform.

How do you enlist support in your ethics and compliance program?

  • Make management aware that bad things happen more often when there is economic stress on the company.
  • First question a prosecutor will ask is: “What steps have you taken?” You do not want the answer to be: “We cut programs.”
  • Government is increasing pursuit of corporate wrong-doing. They just hired two new deputy chiefs.
  • People feel pressure to cut corners and make the numbers.

It is important to let people know the consequences of bad behavior. There are concrete remedies for badness. Also celebrate good behavior.

Highlight the non-retaliation policy. People are not going to make the call if they think they may lose their jobs. Silence is not good.

Obviously, compliance is not a profit center, so you need to be concerned when there are declining profits.