YOUR BUSINESS BENEFITS FROM COMPLIANCE AND ETHICS TRAINING
Protect Your Bottom Line
Studies show that an organization’s investment in and commitment to its own compliance program and employee training plan can mean big rewards at its bottom line. In one study, every additional dollar assigned to an organization’s compliance budget “decreased damages, settlements and fines by $1.37” on average. In another, results showed that organizations investing an above-average amount on training would have returned 45% more than the S&P 500 index during the period studied.
Uncover or Altogether Avoid Misconduct
Organizations should strive to achieve the two main goals of a compliance program — (1) to detect improper conduct or prevent it from ever occurring in the first place, and (2) to ensure it conducts its activities in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Attaining these two goals requires that employees have training on all legal requirements and understand their individual, day-to-day role so they can respond appropriately should problems arise. Such training demonstrates the organization’s commitment to proper conduct, ethical business behavior, laws and regulations, and to the actual facilitation of its compliance program and training plan. In fact, active enforcement of the training plan can determine how, or if, law-enforcement authorities pursue a claim of wrongdoing against an organization and/or its officers and employees.
Build Proper Defenses to Liability
Words on paper are not enough to prove an organization’s commitment to compliance training. There must be proof that policies and procedures are actually being read and followed — a written record that employees received training on, demonstrated an understanding of, and agreed to abide by all applicable policies and procedures. If not, an organization's policies can provide prosecutors and plaintiffs' attorneys with standards that were laid out but not met and, from there, to potential liability.
Understand the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Organizations still not convinced of the critical importance of developing a compliance program that also includes employee training need only reference the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for a dose of solid motivation. The Guidelines include mitigating factors that can reduce an organization's fines and penalties – up to 90%! Among the most important of these mitigating factors is whether an organization has an effective compliance program in place, and that the organization communicates and trains all employees and agents in the compliance program.