According to research by the Ethics & Compliance initiative (ECI), ‘The state of Ethics & Compliance in the workplace’: “In 2017, 16% of employees experienced pressure to compromise standards; a 23% increase over the last measurement. This is part of an ongoing trend, as pressure has increased substantially in the last decade. These findings are troubling, because increases in pressure have shown to precede a weakening of ethical cultures.”
To maintain strong ethics in our organization we continuously work to bolster our business behavior. We also look at enhancing our unwavering commitment to protect our relationships with clients, suppliers and amongst ourselves.
Increasing training and education, introducing new and updated policies, and improving our compliance, data protection and privacy efforts are some of the measures that help us to do so.
In an age of transparency, being open about how we use customer data is key to maintaining positive relationships and reducing reputational risk. Just as important is ensuring the right mechanisms are in place to keep traveler data safe and secure. This philosophy guides our approach to maintaining data security and upholding data privacy.
All these actions are reflected in our Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. It is not a box-ticking exercise. It crystalizes our thinking, our values and our principles. It also links them with our standards of professional conduct - articulating the behaviors we wish to see embodied in every one working at our company.
To have a strong ethical culture, communication is also key. At CWT, we plan different actions throughout the year to keep engagement high, such as mandatory code of conduct trainings, and awareness events. Having a code is essential, but if your employees are not familiar with it, it is pointless.
To have a non-retaliation policy is also essential. According to the same ECI study, not only do employees feel more pressure to cut corners than ever before, but. “the rates of retaliation for reporting wrongdoing have doubled in the past two years, and pressure and retaliation are the two metrics most closely associated with trouble ahead.”
At CWT, our employees are encouraged to speak up about any issues and violations they may have experienced or become aware about. To do so, we have an Ethics Helpline that allows not only internal stakeholders to report suspected cases of ethical misconduct (where applicable), but also external ones.
Blog author: Françoise Grumberg, Vice-President, Global Responsible Business, Carlson Wagonlit Travel