Syntrio’s Award-winning FlexCode Code of Conduct Training

We are very pleased to announce that Syntrio’s "FlexCode Code of Conduct Training" has been selected as a Runner-Up in the E-Learning category of the 2019 International E-Learning Awards, Business Division, given by the International E-Learning Association

What are the International E-Learning Awards?

The International E-Learning Awards are given each year for the best work in e-learning, mobile learning, and blended learning. All submissions are evaluated based on educational soundness, effectiveness, usability, and overall significance.

What is the International E-Learning Association (IELA)?

IELA was founded in 2007 and is a diverse organization made up of members from every continent who are e-learning professionals, researchers, and students coming together from the realms of business, industry, government, and academia.

What does this Award stand for?

The International E-Learning Awards recognize the best uses of technology to improve learning and job performance within companies or through individual professional development.

What is Syntrio’s FlexCode?

FlexCode is the next evolution in Code of Conduct training. Syntrio ethics and compliance training are designed to bring learners into realistic  situations, where they must immediately apply what they learn about a specific topic. Further, Syntrio’s customizable ethics and compliance solution favors practical and relevant information, unburdened by “legalese,” so employees absorb the benefits of ethical behavior, as well as explore how to respond when questionable situations arise.

Businesses can choose any combination of Core, Summary, and Ethical Snapshot modules to design course that suits their unique Code of Conduct training needs. To learn more visit 

If you want to learn more about the International E-Learning Association visit their website at 


The Next Chapter in the Syntrio Story

We are thrilled to announce today that Syntrio has merged with Lighthouse Services, a premier provider of hotline and case management services, and received a strategic investment from private equity firm Inverness Graham to fuel our innovation, customer support, and growth, as well as global expansion.

To read the full press release please go to:

What does this mean for you?

We are now able to offer you a more comprehensive set of solutions.This includes increased product and technology development, and expanded customer service to meet our customers’ global needs. We are focusing our development in the areas of analytics, adaptive learning and mobile technologies, while preparing for the imminent launch of our new Business Skills library of courses.

What does this mean for us?

This investment and merger creates a leading industry provider of integrated eLearning, GRC content, reporting hotline, and case management products that deliver a unified, comprehensive risk management and compliance solution to more than 4,000 organizations.

Our story continues…

Joining forces with the innovative software and technology expertise of Lighthouse Services positions our newly merged company for accelerated growth. Stay tuned to see where our growth and innovation takes us to offer your organization greater value.

Thank you!

We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our customers for putting their trust in us over the last 20 years and bringing us to where we are today. We come to work every day for them, driven to ensure that their organization and employees have the very best solution for their needs. This commitment is stronger than ever during this exciting time.

To read the full press release please go to:

Sexual Harassment Suit with Horrendous Facts Leads to Mandatory Training

A lawsuit filed by the EEOC in the Middle District of Alabama against Hyundai contractor Sys-Con, LLC., has settled for $70,000, according to a recent press release by the EEOC. As the agency has stepped up enforcement actions in the wake of the #MeToo era, more organizations are facing significant settlement and conciliation penalties to avoid sexual harassment-related litigation.

What makes the Sys-Con settlement interesting is the extremely misogynistic and grotesque fact pattern, and the fact that the lawsuit included allegations evidencing a total disregard for a respectful workplace and/or desire to prevent incidents of harassment within the organization. A total disregard for promoting a respectful work environment makes it easy to fall into the trap of repeated harassment and subsequent retaliation, as the facts in the Sys-Con case alleged.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, between 2015-2017 a supervisor at Sys-Con’s facility within a Hyundai manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama demanded sexual favors from two non English-speaking female employees and routinely watched pornographic videos in front of them. The lawsuit also alleges the supervisor sexually assaulted one of the employees and then subsequently taunted her, asking questions such as whether “she liked it.” If all of that wasn’t bad enough, the lawsuit claims the supervisor threatened to fire both victims and their husbands (also Sys-Con employees) if they reported the alleged misconduct.

The facts of this case are extremely egregious, and while the lawsuit demonstrates EEOC’s commitment to enforcing workplace civil rights laws, the reported $70,000 settlement seems light when viewed in context with other similar cases that are brought in private litigation. In addition to the $70,000 payment Sys-Con was ordered to take preventive actions to prevent something like this from ever happening again, including (but not limited to) conducting annual training for managers, supervisors, and other employees, with an emphasis on harassment.

Mandated harassment training has become a frequent point of emphasis in EEOC and state fair employment agency consent decrees. What is most telling about that fact is the number of organizations who are not proactively training their workforces on the importance of learning about (and stopping) incidents of harassment before they become repeated actions and/or hostile work environments.

The Sys-Con case illustrates the “Grand Slam” of incidents within an organtion: hostile environment, quid pro quo harassment, sexual assault and retaliation. When an organization is hit with this type of a grand slam it is clear it is not doing enough to prevent these types of incidents.

Cases like the Sys-Con lawsuit are becoming more frequent in the wake of the #MeToo era as victims begin to feel empowered to report misconduct. Additionally, consent decrees like the one issued in this case are emphasizing organization-wide training campaigns aimed at educating workforces on how to spot and intervene when harassing or disrespectful behavior is occurring. As employees become more comfortable reporting these types of incidents we will see their numbers actually decrease. After all, harassment knowledge is power, and removing the power imbalance in the harassment space is the first step in eliminating the problem.

‘Oliver the Ornament’: A Christmas Tale With Workplace Parallels

In our house we practice the “Four Gifts of Christmas Rule” - each person receives one gift they want, one gift they need, one gift they wear and one gift they read.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any suggestions for the first three gifts on the list. But I do have a great recommendation for the gift you read, and it also ties in nicely with the difficult task we have as parents trying to explain to our children what we do at work every day.

Earlier today, the US President’s wife, First Lady Melania Trump visited Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC for the time-honored tradition of reading to the patients. This year’s book was Todd M. Zimmerman’s Oliver the Ornament, a heartwarming story about a group of ornaments preparing for the Christmas season.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how a children’s Christmas book can draw parallels to the adult workplace but, as the story unfolds, it is easy to see the juxtaposition of what employees in workplaces experience every day:

  • Oliver is simply one of a larger group of ornaments.
    • One employee within a larger organization.
  • Oliver has always been a prized ornament; however, this year he has a broken arm, so he is not sure if he will get put up on the tree.
    • Will diversity or discrimination stop the employee from getting the promotion or receiving recognition?
  • Edsel, a fire truck ornament, bullies Oliver and encourages other ornaments to do the same. 
    • A clear example of workplace bullying and discrimination.
  • Edsel even plots to have Oliver hidden away so he won’t be put on the Christmas tree.
    • An obvious instance of office politics.

I’m not going to spoil the ending for you, but rest assured that I would not have suggested the story if it wasn’t a happy one.

Oliver the Ornament a great springboard for discussions with your children about bullying. You can use it to explain to them that when you go to work every day, you try to serve as the advocate for the ‘Olivers’ where you work to ensure that every employee has a safe place to turn when confronted with an ‘Edsel’ at your office.

Also, it might not hurt to keep a copy of Oliver the Ornament handy on your desk for a little light reading for your team should an ‘Edsel’ rears his or her head.

For more information about Oliver the Ornament, visit

‘Tis the Season — for ethical gift-giving practices

Business is a human, social activity that focuses on building and strengthen relationships. And so, offering gifts can, at certain times, be a valuable part of business as a way to demonstrate respect or show appreciation for a customer or partner organization, including for business partners in other cultures.

Ethical Snapshot: Helpful reminders about the proper role of business gifts and entertainment and when they lead to questionable practices.

Why could an issue arise?

While gifts and entertainment are often given and received in business, they can be a hotbed for ethics and legal concerns. Depending on the context in which a gift is offered, gift-giving may be misconstrued by others as:

  • A conflict of interest
  • A way to provide improper influence on a business decision
  • Attempted bribery or kickback

What could happen?

Poorly considered exchanges of business courtesies could:

  • Disqualify your organization from potential business opportunities
  • Lead to legal fines and other sanctions
  • Smear reputations
  • Ruin careers

What should you do before giving a gift?

Offering gifts or entertainment should not put you, your colleagues or your organization at risk. Before you exchange these business courtesies within a business setting, you should be asking yourself three questions:

  1. What are the rules for exchanging gifts and entertainment?
  2. Are the local customs for the exchange of business courtesies appropriate for my business and the situation?
  3. Should I seek guidance on the subject, and is this guidance sound?

What should you do before receiving a gift?

When acting on behalf of an organization, individuals should never accept gifts and benefits unless it is clear that the particular gift or benefit:

  1. Does not diminish the authority or ability of the organization’s representative to independently make decisions and act in the best interest of the organization
  2. Enhances the best interests of the organization as a whole, either by providing more time to learn about the inner workings of the client or company being served, or education about the greater corporate community as a whole
  3. Has no apparent impact on professional judgment or appearance of bias.

About Ethical Snapshots: Ethical snapshots are microlearning and communications modules designed to address a range of ethics and compliance issues through videos and follow-on questions to prompt the learner to explore a situation and consider ways to best address it. Ethical Snapshots can be used in your organization as emails to your employees, on video monitors in high-traffic areas or during instructor/manager-led training. View More Ethical Snapshots