People also have to think for themselves.’ Managers are key to ensuring this happens.
They serve as an essential conduit to deliver and reinforce the message in a multitude of ways to frontline employees, and have the best view and insight into real-life operational challenges that people face on the job.
‘Do as I say, not as I do’ cannot be the basis for a culture of integrity.
Ethical leadership includes the following traits: Leaders who demonstrate 24/7 integrity and establish ethical conduct as a priority by putting in place high standards, setting a good example and communicating openly will exert the positive influence on employees that is the oxygen of strong ethical culture. A good example, according to Ethisphere’s Timothy Erblich, is GE.
If you don’t embed the culture in these people you’ve failed.
They won’t breach the bribery act in a material way, the Serious Fraud Office won’t be knocking on your door, but if you don’t deal with the culture here, the culture won’t be right in the organisation, and things will become problematic.” Sam Al Jayousi, Group Compliance Manager, Carillion As well as being a role model, their first job is to engage their team or unit in defining how the values contained in the Co C translate and apply in daily work.
This means using their unique understanding of each role – and the challenges and risks that go with it – to develop clear guidelines.
These will differ according to function: sales, for example, face very different sets of issues to R&D and this should be factored into guidelines.
The role of the board The board’s primary function in creating and maintaining a culture of integrity is to oversee the long-term interests of the company and its stakeholders and see that value is generated in an ethical way.
Its responsibilities include helping to steer corporate values and ensuring that the executive team adequately balances corporate objectives with risk management and values-led behaviour so that long-term value generation is safeguarded for all stakeholders.