Ever wondered why compliance suffers in the wake of a growing economy? Now that the economy is beginning to recover from the collapse of the US housing bubble we are seeing huge compliance violations. According to a recent study by Winston & Strawn, less than half of all corporate counsel survey respondents companies currently “rank” their risks of non-compliance. Ranking is meant to provide companies a way to evaluate exposure to risk and suggest targeted compliance solutions based on those rankings. But, as you can imagine, ranking only helps if you take advantage of it, and the majority of companies do not.
While Winston & Strawn’s study speaks specifically to international business, a good testament to needing compliance especially in times of growth comes from our recently released 2013 Global Hotline Benchmarking Report. The building and construction industry experienced a dramatic increase (197%) in the number of incidents reported over the previous year – the increase is likely related to a resurrgence in the economy and an increase in construction workers in general. While a rise in incidents reported should not be taken as a bad thing (you want your employees to come forward with incidents), the construction industry also experienced the second highest number of retaliation-realted report across all industries in 2012.
Wherever your growth may be, it’s imperative that your compliance and ethics program grows with you. If your company expands overseas, for example, you’ll need to revise or create new policies to accommodate for foreign laws and cultures (i.e. gift-giving and entertainment policies are strict in the U.S.; however, gift-giving in a country like Japan is expected and would be frowned upon if overlooked). If you’re seeing an increase in your workforce because economic times are getting better, that’s great – but maybe you should revisit and analyze your current compliance program, too. Will it work with a larger workforce? If you have taken on a new type of employee (i.e. non-desk employees), what changes should you make to ensure they receive all company communications and are trained to the same extent as your traditional employees?
Report | 2013 Global Ethics Hotline Benchmarking Report
What are the key trends in your industry for incident reporting? How often does fraud and other types of misconduct get reported? Download our 2013 Hotline Benchmarking Report – a trusted standard that provides great insight into how GRC programs impact organizations across all major industries – to see how your compliance program measures up.