“Survey Says:” Not Enough Training for Corporate Directors

Your company may feel like it is doing all it can to train managers and employees. You may even feel like the amount of training needed is oppressive, and difficult to keep up with. Compliance Officers, Human Resources Professionals, Cyber Security Directors: Everyone is realizing the value of training to accomplishing their specific compliance goals. But are the decision-makers and those pulling the finance strings actually practicing what they preach? A recent survey by e-learning provider Navex Global revealed the answer is a resounding no.

The survey interviewed 644 ethics and compliance professionals, and found that companies continue to under-train their boards of directors on data privacy, workplace harassment, conflicts of interest, and other ethical dilemmas when compared with other members of the company. This result is perplexing to say the least given that these individuals are responsible for managing not only the finances of a corporation, but its overall direction and oversight. 

The risks of leaving board members in the dark on training issues are real. First and foremost, failing to train c-suite executives and boards of directors on issues such as cyber security and workplace harassment threatens compliance programs before they have a chance to get started. Indeed, when conducting a compliance initiative the first members of the organization who should be consulted are those individuals who hold the power to approve funding for that program.

At Syntrio we preach a top-down philosophy of compliance, where leaders and decision makers not only embrace training and compliance, but are knowledgeable and educated on these issues as well. When board members are not encouraged to be involved in a training and compliance program they are proven to be less likely to approve financing for these programs as a whole. From the top the pyramid can crumble.

Second, when you hear of a major harassment issue in the workplace that makes major news the perpetrator is more often than not a high level executive, and often a board member. Just last week we saw Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resign amid horrific allegations of sexual harassment. Ailes was accused of psychologically abusing and harassing subordinate employees for over 20 years. This story was of course just the latest in a long line of executive and board compliance failures to happen in recent weeks. Given that only 12% of the 644 compliance professionals surveyed responded they are training board members on workplace harassment these stories seem far less surprising.

The subjective news stories match the quantitative data and confirm your thoughts. High-level executives get into more compliance-related trouble than others in large part because they receive less training on how to avoid them. Syntrio is a leader in the ethics and compliance field, with an innovative philosophy towards compliance program design and engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content. We want your company to be a leader in training your executives and board members on the issues that can derail the company quickly.

Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our ethics and compliance online courses for and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance that impact your company!