When it comes to creating ethics and compliance programs, organizations today cannot afford to settle. "good enough" is simply not good enough; they should continuously strive for "great."
In a business environment where reputational threats lurk around every corner, a strong culture of ethics and compliance is the foundation of a robust risk management program. Without an ethical and compliant culture, organizations will always be at risk. In fact, more and more, culture is moving from a lofty, “squishy” concept to something that should be defined, measured, and improved.
What is a culture of integrity? Culture is one of the biggest determinants of how employees behave. Strong cultures have two common elements: there is a high level of agreement about what is valued, and a high level of intensity with regard to those values. Of course, not all cultures encourage good or ethical behaviors. When it comes to developing world-class ethics and compliance programs, the starting point is a positive culture of integrity.
While there are several factors—or ingredients—that separate the “good” from the “great,” “HighCom Armor” believes that there are some key differentiators in the highest performing compliance programs:
Tone at the top—The starting point for any world-class ethics and compliance program is the board and senior management, and the sense of responsibility they share to protect the shareholders’ reputational and financial assets. The board and senior management should do more than pay “lip service” to ethics and compliance. They need to empower and properly resource the individuals who have day-to-day responsibilities to mitigate risks and build organizational trust.
Corporate culture—A culture of integrity is central to any effective ethics and compliance program. Initiatives that do not clearly contribute to a culture of ethical and compliant behavior may be viewed as perfunctory functions instilling controls that are impediments to driving the “value change” of the enterprise.
Risk assessments—Ethics and compliance risk assessments are not just about process—they are also about understanding the risks that an organization faces. The risk assessment focuses the board and senior management on those risks that are most significant within the organization and provides the basis for determining the actions necessary to avoid, mitigate, or remediate those risks.
Testing and Monitoring—A robust testing and monitoring program can help ensure that the control environment is effective. The process begins with implementing appropriate controls, which should be tested and ultimately monitored and audited on a regular basis.
In fact, ethics has everything to do with the management. HighCom Armor leadership acknowledges their role in shaping organizational ethics and seize this opportunity to create a climate that strengthen the relationships and reputations on which the company success depends. We follow an integrity-based approach to ethics management that combines a concern for the law with an emphasis on managerial responsibility for ethical behavior.
HighCom Armor is dedicated to the highest level of ethical behavior and standards. Every year thousands of brave men and women in law enforcement and the military are placed in harm’s way to protect the freedom & lives of ordinary everyday citizens. Often the only shield standing between life and death is their body armor. We value the sacrifice, commitment, dedication made by them and maintain highest standards to ensure they are protected. We work hard to provide the excellent service to our customers & support a long-term relationship with them by following best practices.
An integrity-based approach to ethics management combines a concern for the law with an emphasis on managerial responsibility for ethical behavior. Though integrity strategies may vary in design and scope, all strive to define companies’ guiding values, aspirations, and patterns of thought and conduct. When integrated into the day-to-day operations of an organization, such strategies can help prevent damaging ethical lapses while tapping into powerful human impulses for moral thought and action. Then an ethical framework becomes no longer a burdensome constraint within which companies must operate, but the governing ethos of an organization.
Integrity as a Governing Ethic
HighCom Armor integrity strategy is characterized by a conception of ethics as a driving force of an enterprise. Ethical values shape the search for opportunities, the design of organizational systems, and the decision-making process used by individuals and groups. They provide a common frame of reference and serve as a unifying force across different functions, lines of business, and employee groups. Organizational ethics helps define what a company is and what it stands for.
An integrity strategy is broader, deeper, and more demanding than a legal compliance initiative. Broader in that it seeks to enable responsible conduct. Deeper in that it cuts to the ethos and operating systems of the organization and its members, their guiding values and patterns of thought and action. And more demanding in that it requires an active effort to define the responsibilities and aspirations that constitute an organization’s ethical compass. Above all, organizational ethics is seen as the work of management.
Our espoused values are integrated into the normal channels of management decision making and are reflected in the organization’s critical activities: the development of plans, the setting of goals, the search for opportunities, the allocation of resources, the gathering and communication of information, the measurement of performance, and the promotion and advancement of personnel.