ROI boosted by mature ethics & compliance programmes, new survey finds

BY Fraser Tennant

Companies with mature or advanced ethics & compliance training programmes achieve greater return on investment (ROI) as well as significant risk mitigation and culture change, according to a new survey by NAVEX Global.

In its ‘2017 Ethics & Compliance Training Benchmark Report’, NAVEX reveals that 48 percent of the 900 respondents surveyed (over half of whom were senior managers or directors) said their training programmes were maturing – meaning they have a basic plan for the year that covers risk and role-based topic assignments.

A further 10 percent of respondents said their programmes were advanced – meaning they have a sophisticated multiyear training plan that covers a variety of topics assigned to specific audiences based on need and risk profile that includes live and e-learning, short-form and long-form courses and a variety of engaging formats.

The report also found that larger companies were more likely to have mature or advanced programmes.

“More than half of our respondents classified their training programmes as at least mature and said they are better able to determine and then show the linkage between programme maturity and training objectives to executives,” said Ingrid Fredeen, NAVEX Global's vice president of online learning content and the author of the report. “Being able to sharpen the business case for training is important for compliance programmes hoping to secure more funding at this critical time, when a scandal or cyber attack can have swift and sweeping negative effects on an organisation and its brand.”

Additional report findings include: (i) companies define a culture of ethics and respect in various ways, with the two most common definitions highlighting a culture that creates a workplace that encourages people to speak openly and aligns with regulatory requirements; (ii) just 41 percent of respondents said they provide training on cyber security; and (iii) just 43 percent provide training on speaking up and reporting/anti-retaliation.

However, echoing previous year’s results, training at the highest levels continues to be a potential problem spot, with 36 percent of respondents stating their companies do not provide ethics and compliance training to their boards. A further 21 percent said they did not know whether they provided training.

Ms Freeden concluded: “People are thinking differently about the need for training programmes. Some companies could be wondering what is under a rock today that could go public tomorrow.”

Report: 2017 Ethics & Compliance Training Benchmark Report

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