In its study of private U.S. companies, the Ethics Resource Center identified the following basic elements of comprehensive ethics programs—though only three (*) are mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act:
- Written standards for ethical conduct*
- Training on company standards of ethical workplace conduct
- Provision of a mechanism for seeking ethics-related information or
- Provision of a mechanism for anonymously reporting misconduct*
- Disciplining of employees who violate the standards or the law*
- Assessment of ethical conduct as part of performance evaluations
The study found less than 40% of companies have put these elements in place. For more information on reducing ethical risk and misconduct, see the National Business Ethics Survey at www.ethics.org .
Source: National Business Ethics Survey , 2007, www.ethics.org/research/nbes.asp .