What will you remember 2017 for?

A 12-month reflection before the New Year

It’s been eventful. A year of catastrophic hurricanes around the globe, a summer of Despacito and continuing fallout from #metoo.

Yet some will remember it as a year of the corporate scandal. We’ve seen Google fined a record-breaking $2.7bn. Misjudgments such as United Airlines’ heavy-handed passenger removal. We’ve also seen accusations of cover-ups, misrepresentation and sexual harassment echoing around the world. As a result, many companies will be looking to the year ahead as a time to avoid the spotlight and repair reputation.

So, where should organisations focus their efforts in helping their people keep to the straight and narrow in 2018?

How to move forward in 2018

Just as our own New Year’s resolutions can turn to dust in the heat of the moment, organisational attempts to drive ethical behaviour fail when they overlook the individuals involved and the emotions they experience day-to-day.

To give good judgement and decision-making the best chance of prevailing, the employee needs to be placed firmly at the center of ethics initiatives. Leaders, managers and compliance professions can all help build a culture of doing the right thing by:

  • Bringing identity into focus: We all like to think we’re good people, who do the right thing most of the time. Reminding individuals of this fact is often enough to guide behaviour.
  • Discussing the tough stuff: Everyone experiences tensions between doing what’s right, and what’s easy. Acknowledge difficult situations and agree together how to deal with them.
  • Empowering down the line: Regulations change, but good judgment persists. Help to build it by giving individuals the choice to do the right thing, rather than blindly comply.

2018 is the year to put individuals back at the center of positive culture change. Find out how by downloading our Ethics white paper, The Only Way is Ethics.

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