BY BLANDINE CORDIER-PALASSE, La Revue RH&M n°84 – 01/2022
When we talk about CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) (Corporate Social Responsibility) or sustainable development, we immediately think of environmental and social environmental and social issues.
However, governance is just as fundamental governance is just as fundamental because without it, there can be no sustainably successful company. From Enron in 2001 to Wirecard in 2020, examples abound and good governance includes a compliance and ethics program.
Given the sharp increase in recruitment of ethics and compliance officers that we have seen since the beginning of 2021, we believe that an update on this function would be would be welcome.
What is the purpose of a Director of Ethics?
To better understand, let’s compare compliance and ethics: being compliant is to ensure that the company’s rules, procedures and protocols are well defined, applied and monitored. Ethics is built around guiding principles, based on the company’s values that help make decisions and guide the conduct of aﬀaires.
To summarize, one is the spirit, the other the letter: one without the other, the company will not be effectively protected in the long run.
More and more often reporting to the CEO, the role of the Director of Ethics is therefore to ensure that these principles are known to all employees, accepted and applied in the conduct of the aﬀaires and the development of the business.
At the same time spokesperson, advisor and controller, it must also anticipate societal changes in order to help the to help the company choose the right in an increasingly complex business context.
What is the scope of a Director of Ethics ?
Having a transversal role, the projects to be managed and deployed, in
cooperation with the functional and/or operational teams, are numerous and varied and are organized around four axes:
1.Define the principles and expected behaviors. This can take the form of an Ethics Charter, be extended by principles
2. Disseminate and promote these principles. Training and animations with pedagogy, dialogue and listening will help to ensure that they are assimilated and adopted
3. Ensure their implementation through control programs.
Measure the effectiveness of the procedures and identify, correct and even sanction deviations
4. Advise, inform and even alert, the management bodies – with, as a corollary, the knowledge of of the group’s day-to-day activities activity, the implementation of performance indicators and the monitoring of “ethical” monitoring
Why has this become essential in 2021?
There are many reasons for this, all of which converge on one objective: to protect the company without hindering its development.
More specifically, for you, HR Directors and Managers, the positive impact on the employer brand will be an asset for attracting and retaining talent, for strengthening your group’s cultural identity and your employees’ sense of belonging.
For your salespeople, it will be a differentiating asset and a reassuring argument in front of customers; for everyone, ethics is a way to identify and control risks.
This is why many business leaders contact us to help them create the position of Director of Ethics – a new role which, if well defined, well recruited and well integrated, will prove to create value in the long term.