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Findings show that strategic buy-in from executive leadership is the
critical driver for program effectiveness

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Leading ethics and compliance software and services company NAVEX
Global® today announced the release of its 2019 Definitive Corporate
Compliance Benchmark Report. This document is the company’s first to
consolidate findings about multiple E&C disciplines into a single,
issue-based benchmark report. The disciplines covered in this unique
publication include policy and procedure management, employee training,
third-party risk management as well as hotline and incident management.

Report findings show that leadership buy-in to the strategic value of an
E&C program has a profound impact and is the clearest driver of program
success and the perception of organizational ethics. Organizations with
strong executive backing show greater success, more program maturity and
adoption of E&C technologies that improve program performance.

The report also found that program consolidation, automation and
maturity are trending up. The advent of new technologies, purpose-built
for E&C functionality with resource and time-saving automation and
workflows, has allowed program leaders to focus on trend analysis and
reducing known and emerging concerns before they negatively impact the
organization and its stakeholders.

The report evaluated the maturity of each respondent’s program,
classifying them as either reactive, basic, maturing or advanced.
Importantly, program maturity levels were not self-reported. Rather the
survey instrument identified maturity based on a subset of questions
answered. Confidence that the organization is “always ethical” drops to
only 25 percent among respondents with basic programs and a
disappointing 15 percent for reactive programs.

The report also shed light on respondents’ impressions of corporate
culture and tone from the top. Among the most telling: Less than half
(48 percent) of all respondents said their organization’s senior
managers viewed E&C as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy
that proves a return on investment. The remaining 52 percent felt that
management considered E&C programs to be either an “insurance policy”
or, worse yet, a necessary evil. And again, the numbers become more
alarming among basic and reactive programs where respondents rated their
management’s confidence in program ROI at 30 and 13 percent respectively.

“These two sets of findings are clearly related,” said Carrie Penman,
Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President, Advisory Services,
NAVEX Global. “It’s obvious to employees when leadership believes in the
strategic value and measurable ROI of E&C programs. Leaders who view
compliance programs as insurance policies or necessary evils – as many
do, particularly within less mature organizations – are sending the
wrong message to their workforce.”

The study also indicates that organizations are struggling to address
issues that have dominated news cycles in recent years, including:
harassment, bribery/corruption, conflicts of interest and data
privacy/security. Though #MeToo is arguably the most forceful movement
to hit the workplace in recent history, 48 percent of respondents said
their organization has made no changes as a result.

“While this finding regarding #MeToo was disappointing, advanced
programs fared better,” Penman said. “Advanced programs are better
positioned to quickly respond to societal changes as well as cultural
expectations and adapt by providing better training, stronger policies
and, perhaps most important, a more open dialog.”

Other Key Findings:

  • Only 71 percent of respondents overall and 91 percent of advanced
    programs offered an anonymous reporting channel – something every
    organization should have at this point in the evolution of E&C
  • Technology use is less common in small organizations’ programs and
    those at the low end of program maturity. However, it is one of the
    key drivers of a successful program. Overall, 85 percent of
    respondents currently use one or more automated solutions in their
    programs. Those that use up to five of these solutions demonstrate
    better prevention of violations and more program accomplishments as
    they add each automated solution.
  • Regarding policy and procedure management, 85 percent of respondents
    said a “centralized repository with easy access to the most current
    versions” was valuable or very valuable. More than three out of four
    (78 percent) rated “improved version control, reduced redundancy or
    increased accuracy of policies” just as valuable.
  • Budget and allocated resources are largely flat for most E&C programs,
    though one in five expects some modest budget increases. A third of
    organizations have a budget less than $50,000, and half have four or
    fewer FTEs dedicated to E&C.
  • Third-party risk management solutions lag in perceived value and
    implementation. E&C programs are depending mostly on proven, core
    program elements policies, codes of conduct, training and internal
    reporting systems – to help manage these risks.

Click on this link for a copy of NAVEX Global’s 2019
Definitive Corporate Compliance Benchmark Report

About NAVEX Global

NAVEX Global’s comprehensive suite of ethics and compliance software,
content and services helps organizations protect their people,
reputation and bottom line. Trusted by more than 13,000 customers, our
solutions are informed by the largest ethics and compliance community in
the world. For more information, visit

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Chris Gale, (646) 695-2883
[email protected]