A new report by the Ethisphere Institute identifies areas companies should work on to enhance transparency across all operations.
The release of the 2014 Ethics Communications Best Practices Report coincides with SCCE’s Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week May 4-10, a national week-long event that recognizes the importance of ethics and compliance in the workplace. Many companies use this week to advance the dialogue surrounding compliance and ethics and engage employees in these hot button issues.
“We are excited to build on the momentum and energy coming out of our second-annual Best Practices in Ethics Communications Workshop by publishing the expert perspectives and successful strategies that were shared at the New York Stock Exchange in October,” said Paul Gennaro, AECOM’s senior vice president and chief communications officer, who also chairs the Ethisphere Institute’s Communications Advisory Board.
The report features insights and perspectives from several recognized leaders in communications, academia, and legal and compliance, including Paul Argenti, professor of Corporate Communication and Corporate Responsibility, The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society, the leading global professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives; Gary Sheffer, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at General Electric and chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society; and Dr. Edward Queen, director of the Ethics and Servant Leadership Program, The Center for Ethics, Emory University.
“There are times when silence is important, especially when you don’t know all the facts. Long-term silence is never the right answer, but you have to achieve a balance where you are not rushing out with potentially false information, which can really discredit the company in the long run,” said Gregory.
Dawn Werry, vice president, marketing, Milliken & Company, added that while it is important to know all the facts before communicating, a quick response is important to controlling an organization’s rumor mill.
“You can’t go too long without telling people something, or else they will fill in the blanks,” said Werry. “Immediate communication allows you to be in control of your story, which is better than the alternative.” Werry also added that social media provides a unique tool for hearing feedback. “During a crisis while working for a previous employer, the biggest turning point for us was when we started using social media to listen.”
Click here to download a full copy of the report.