3 Ways to Sell Your Employees on Ethics and Compliance

Combining fun with a serious top-down ethical culture, education and the right tools gets buy-in from staff.

Posted by Dawn Lomer in Ethics, Ethics & Compliance on November 14th, 2011

When I read earlier this month that Allstate had earned Ethisphere’s coveted designation of Compliance Leader Verification, I wasn’t surprised. Aside from its 60-plus solid years of history and its status as the US’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate has been a client of i-Sight for two years, having implemented i-Sight Case Management Software application for its Enterprise Business Conduct group in 2009.

But aside from its obvious commitment to providing the right tools to implement a robust ethics and compliance program, the company also goes beyond the normal methods for instilling an ethical culture, by making ethics fun and making it serious at the same time.

“Allstate’s commitment to ethics and compliance is reflected in, among other things, the best-in-class communication program the company has implemented. Blog posts, contests and scenarios augment a robust training program and allow Allstate employees to regularly interact with ethical challenges in an environment that embraces available technology ,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, senior vice president of Compliance Advisory Services for Corpedia, a licensed Ethisphere credentialing partner, in a press release.

Make it Fun

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Allstate uses online ethical dilemma contests in which both management and employees participate as well as ethics board games to spark thought and conversation. Individuals can be nominated for the Allstate Ethics and Compliance Awards, which recognize the importance of the program in the overall strategy of the company.

“It’s all about keeping ethics and compliance relevant and top-of-mind so that people think through the implications of any real-world ethical dilemmas they may face,” said Rich Crist, Allstate senior vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer, in the press release.

Make it Serious

Augmenting the fun side of ethics with some more serious training sends the message to employees that ethics is important and is part of their job requirements. There are many different methods companies use to train employees in ethics and compliance, including sending staff away on retreats, hiring ethics professionals to come and teach courses and assigning reading material.

Allstate arranges staff workshops and “lunch-and-learns” to get the ethics message across in a more traditional way. A strong tone-from-the top is another critical part of the company’s commitment to ethics.

“Allstate has devoted significant resources to ethics and compliance,” Crist said in the press release. “Just as importantly, our team has full access to and support of our senior leadership team and Board of Directors.”

Provide the Right Tools

All the training in the world can’t be put into practice without the right tools and Allstate has demonstrated a commitment to providing the tools its employees need to implement the ethics and compliance policies they are taught.

Allstate’s investment in technology, including software for case management which aids in tracking and risk mitigation, is one example of the way the company puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to providing the tools for an effective ethics and compliance program. Ethisphere’s recognition of Allstate as a leader in the area of compliance is testimony to the effectiveness its strategy.


Dawn Lomer
Dawn Lomer

Managing Editor

Dawn Lomer is the managing editor at i-Sight Software and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She writes about topics related to workplace investigations, ethics and compliance, data security and e-discovery, and hosts i-Sight webinars.