Chris Audet on Whether Culture is Truly That Important [Podcast]

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By Adam Turteltaub

Creating the right corporate culture is an idea that’s sacrosanct in the field of compliance and ethics. The folks at Gartner, though, are challenging that belief.

In this podcast Chris Audet, Vice President and Chief of Research for General Counsels and Chief Compliance Officers, tells us that their newly released report finds that focusing on key quality measures in the compliance program may be more important.

The firm reached the conclusion after surveying over 1000 employees about the situations that lead to employee noncompliance. To quote from the press release, “In the survey, 87% of respondents said they faced situations where they didn’t know how to comply in the last 12 months, followed by 77% of respondents who experienced situations of rationalization and 40% experiencing situations of malice.”

Improved quality standards – the design and accessibility of policies, training and so forth – had much more of an effect on reducing uncertainty than culture did. As he notes, when employees are faced with uncertainty, the key thing is to have easily accessible policies and a workforce that knows where to find them.

Most troubling, of course, is the reportedly high temptation, not always acted on, to be noncompliant for malicious reasons. Listen in to learn more about the challenges of malice and rationalization and how quality standards may help there as well.