Do they believe what we believe?

Ethics & Compliance professionals spend a lot of time creating, communicating, and enforcing rules. We believe that we play a key role in protecting the organization and we take that role seriously.

And so we are sometimes baffled when an employee breaks a rule. How could they? We worked so hard to create this rule! We published it in the policy manual, we sent emails, we provided training, we explained why we have that rule, why the rule is important. What gives?!

Often, the problem is that we fell short. Communicating the rule is better than not communicating it. Providing training is better than not training. Explaining why the rule exists is better than just shoving it down their throat. But what if they don’t believe our “why”? What if they don’t care?

The best way to sell a “why”, to make employees care, is to link our rules to shared values. Employees who believe in delivering safe products to customers are willing to comply with a rule that requires parts testing. Employees who believe in winning sales the right way don’t mind a rule that requires vetting of sales agents. And so on. In a world of rules, a value is king.

Employees must believe what you believe.

HT to Seth Godin

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