Can a comprehensive corporate governance training program prevent disasters? In January 2018 the giant construction company Carillion collapsed dramatically in the UK, resulting in a debt load of over £1.5 billion and the loss of more than 2,300 jobs. HR Magazine UK edition quoted a scathing government report which concluded that the collapse was “the result of moral failings on the board,” and that Carillion “ harboured a rotten culture.”
The unsightly demise was reminiscent of the implosion of U.S. energy company Enron at the beginning of the century. Investopedia reports that CEO Jeffrey Skilling used a questionable technique called “mark-to-market accounting” to hide the company’s huge financial losses from investors, employees and government overseers. Playing fast and loose with the accounting rules, however, eventually proved disastrous, leading to the loss of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, and several criminal convictions.
Although governments scramble to prevent similar corporate disasters from recurring companies need to place an intense internal focus, from the top down and the bottom up, on spotting, whistleblowing and eliminating bad corporate behaviours. Corporate governance training that focuses on setting proper guidelines is a good start, but companies also need to ensure policy compliance throughout the entire organization, so everyone is aware and accountable.
Visible signs Compliance KPI’s are monitored sends the right message from the top.
Whether the scandal relates to finance, discrimination, or regulatory failure it usually requires more than a single individual to be complicit. Setting out high standards and providing training during the onboarding process is a great start. However, HR can’t tackle the issues alone. Ultimately the tone is set from the top. What can be done?
- Put in place an affirmative approach to whistleblowing
- Create a leadership team that values an open culture
- Monitor compliance levels to ensure that everyday behaviours follow the ethos laid down in the written procedures.
Corporate Governance Training can impact many areas:
The role of eLearning in Corporate Governance Training
eLearning courses such as the CPD Accredited Business Protection Pack from EssentialSkillz can play a part in creating a robust corporate governance training programme. Training teams across a business to understand the broader threats the organization faces helps in reducing the risk of financial and reputational damage. There are in total, 16 courses in the pack, these include:
- Anti-Bribery and Corruption: This eLearning course outlines core principles in relation to ethical standards, including hospitality and the giving/receiving of gifts, defines clear responsibilities for spotting and reporting corruption, and outlines standards for holding government officials, private organizations and individuals to account for acts of malfeasance.
- Fraud Prevention: This course explains how employees can recognize red flags, report suspected fraud, and prevent organizational fraud.
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): GDPR, what does the new data legislation mean, and how do you ensure compliance.
- Modern Day Slavery: This lesson provides a clear understanding of the different types of modern-day slavery, and discusses how businesses can prevent this heinous crime from occurring at every point in the supply chain.
- Money Laundering: Because criminals may target business organizations for money laundering purposes, precautions need to be in place to deter this possibility or report any suspected illegal activity.
- Whistleblowing Procedures: This course helps organizations clarify their whistleblowing procedures so employees can raise genuine concerns about suspected wrong-doing, and feel protected as a whistleblower.
The EssentialSkillz course content consistently evolves to keep the courses aligned with the latest in best business practices and keep subscribing organizations in step with the latest in corporate governance training. The courses can all be branded and edited to provide a bespoke learning experience for each individual business to reflect their precise training requirements.
Don’t forget Policies: Ignorance is not an excuse.
Alongside eLearning courses, Policies, and Risk Assessments can be fully automated and deployed through WorkWize, the market-leading Closed Loop Compliance System. Adding tests to policies ensures that all participants read and understand the relevant information. A digital audit trail provides for future accountability. Taking policy compliance seriously sends a message and helps to reinforce the need to act responsibly, right from the top down.
For more on this topic, why not sign up for our free webinar:
“How to ensure compliance with your policies and procedures”
Fri, Jun 8, 2018 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM BST
Julian Roberts, CEO of EssentialSkillz will examine the difficulty in ensuring employees actually understand the policies and procedures they sign off on. Then, once understanding is proven how organisations can track and improve compliance.