Ethics and compliance in the workplace are two things that you must prioritize in your business. Don’t groan or roll your eyes! As a business owner, it is your job to make sure that your company is doing its best to fulfill these needs.
A large part of this involves implementing the correct training. Here’s a quick guide to nurturing these essential elements in your business.
Make sure you’re doing what you’re legally required to do!
Whatever state you’re doing business in, there are going to be training courses that you’re required to give to your employees. Of course, it’s not just about what state your business is in. The number of employees in your company also comes into play. Let’s take a look at a hypothetical Californian business. Let’s say that there are at least fifty employees in this company. Under Californian law, you would be required to provide AB 1825 training to all of your employees.
Employees in executive positions must join in any training schemes
There seems to be a rather widespread and worrying trend in modern businesses. That trend is the exclusion of executive employees from the need to attend ethics and compliance training. How do you think that’s going to make the rest of the employees feel? Sure, they may assume that executives must already know all this stuff. But then again, so will many of your employees!
Everyone, including you and the other executives, should take part in ethical training. Do not allow anyone to skip class!
Introduce subtlety into the given scenarios
We’re going to take sexual harassment as an example here, as I feel it provides the best projection of what I’m trying to say. The problem of sexual harassment is a big one that refuses to die. Things have gotten better over the years, of course. But in pretty much any institution, sexual harassment is a threat to attendees. Part of the problem may well be that the offenders don’t think they’re sexually harassing someone.
It seems odd to say, I know. But have you ever seen the examples of sexual harassment that are often given in your average training program? They’re often very on-the-nose. A man will touch a woman in an inappropriate place, or he’ll call her something very sexual or derogatory. But most sexual harassment is much more subtle. But because it’s not extreme, it’s not always noted. Make sure your training highlights more common and subtle examples.
Ensure employees feel safe coming to you about a problem
One of the most effective ways to keep things ethical and safe in the workplace is to be approachable. As the business owner, you are the ultimate authority within your company. You may have a human resources department that is the “official” port of call for complaints. But at the end of the day, employees should feel safe coming to you directly.
Do not underestimate the importance of being warm, friendly, and engaged with your employees. This will create a bridge of trust between you and everyone else. And if someone encounters a problem, they will feel more comfortable coming to you for help. If the business authorities aren’t helpful or approachable, then this may let misbehavior continue.