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Our 2017 survey finds that a significant number of employees misunderstand critical elements of compliance policies and processes, highlighting areas where organizations should work to clarify and raise awareness of what ethical conduct looks like. As a matter of urgency, leaders should make sure that they know the answers to the following questions.
According to our 2017 survey, for the vast majority of organizations, the answer to this question is likely to be: “No.”
A massive 85% of our respondents want to change their organization’s ABAC policy to make it more understandable. Specifically, they think existing policies are too long and use unnecessarily complex language (including legal jargon).
Beyond simplifying and shortening ABAC policies, employees believe understanding would be greatly helped if policies are provided in the local language and explained in terms of real-world, local business examples that clearly demonstrate compliant behavior.
Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents believe their head office does not provide enough budget and decision-making authority to local business management to fight bribery and corruption in their market.
A significant minority (39%) of respondents say their code of conduct has little impact on actual employee behavior, perhaps in part because employees either do not understand or do not see the relevance of this element of compliance. Two years ago, a majority of employees told us their code of conduct should be more flexible to accommodate local needs. Our 2017 survey finds little has changed, with 57% of respondents once again agreeing with this point. Some respondents also believe there is a disconnect between directives from head office and the realities of the local market. A worrying 14% of respondents believe that the management team at head office does not understand the local business environment.
Organizations must test their codes of conduct for local understanding and clarify as needed to fit with business practices on the ground.
Our 2017 survey finds that many organizations are failing to provide adequate direction around gift giving and entertainment. More than one-third of respondents say their organization either has no gift giving policy at all, or that they have a policy but it is vague and they do not understand it. Interestingly, the majority of employees have strong opinions about what their gift giving policy should be. Almost 60% of respondents want their organization to avoid all ambiguity and provide employees with an exact monetary amount for gift giving and entertainment.
Clear policies and procedures around gift giving are essential, as temptations for bribery and corruption abound. Best practice includes:
“Organizations need clear, simple policies that make it easy for front-line employees to politely decline a request for a deviation.”
“As ethical behavior becomes a market differentiator, senior management should be more involved in conversations around thirdparty risk management. In today’s fast-changing environment, relationships are complex and dynamic, requiring continuous third-party risk monitoring. Companies will need to leverage digital data in the most cost efficient and effective way to address key risks around third parties and their activities.”
Q. How significant of a risk do you think each of the following is to your business in relation to bribery and corruption?
Base: Total respondents (1,598), except India.