ethics and compliance

Employee Ethics and Compliance Programs

Doing the next “right thing” and doing the next “thing right” is made easy for employees thanks to ethics and compliance programs. 

According to a new LRN survey of corporate ethics and compliance managers, companies are trying to get their employees to behave more ethically. Consequently, there has been a 20% increase in employers considering ethical behavior as part of employee performance reviews and bonuses.

Ethics and compliance survey participants rated the following statements on a five-point scale ranging from “almost always true” to “rarely true”:

  • We tolerate high performers that violate our code of conduct or values.
  • The managers within my company sometimes act as if they are above the rules.
  • Leaders consistently make values-based objectives that our employees trust.
  • Employees within the company feel pressured to achieve immediate objectives; even it is means acting in a way that would be inconsistent with our values.
  • Employees worry about how their managers will react, so they hesitate to speak out during team meetings.
  • When decisions conflict with our values, employees ask questions.
  • Even if it’s not in their best interest, employees will always do the right thing.
  • Employees are comfortable with skipping leadership levels above their direct boss to raise ethical concerns.

The program effectiveness index

After this, LRN then grouped the programs into quintiles so that they could compare the impact of E&C programs across additional survey questions.

The organizations that made it into the top two quintiles were labeled as having a high organizational impact, while the bottom two quintiles were a low organizational impact.

5 key similarities in high impact ethics and compliance programs.

  1. Employees use a moral compass and don’t need a manual as a guide.
  2. Ethics are embedded in all business operations.
  3. Every staff member and stakeholder takes part in ethical compliance, not just certain staff.
  4. Accountability starts with senior leaders.
  5. A proactive and comprehensive approach is taken to managing risks.

Creating a new compliance and ethics program can be challenging. Below are five tips for getting your compliance and ethics program started.

  • Proactively Manage Compliance and Ethics

Be proactive in establishing controls and processes, defining accountability, and centrally managing compliance requirements so that they are easily accessible by all departments.

  • Adopt and Communicate an Ethical Profile

Ethics begins at the top. Create policies and procedures that define the culture and expected behavior of everyone working within the organization.

  • Train Employees on Ethics and Compliance Policies

Employee training is always a smart move. They need to understand the organization’s ethical boundaries and culture.

  • Integrate Hotlines with the Corporate Compliance Program

Some organizations implement hotlines for employees to anonymously report bribery, fraud, ethical violations, discrimination, and other misconduct.

Use a Risk-based Approach

A risk-based approach involves identifying high-risk areas within the organization, and then managing and monitoring them.


Ethics and compliance training is a continuous process that requires businesses to keep vigilant. With ethics and compliance training programs being integrating into more-and-more companies, it’s making “doing the right thing” easier for employees.

For more helpful tips form our DLC blog, click here.

interim professionals

Bringing Interim Professionals into the Fold

As the workplace evolves, attitudes towards interim professionals is also changing. These are the people who are brought on for a limited period of time. Perhaps they are a seasonal worker, helping with a workload spike, or covering for a full-time employee’s extended leave of absence.

In years past, temporary employees have been only seen as a solution to a temporary problem. But, now business owners are realizing how they can benefit permanently from bringing interim professionals into the company fold. Here’s how to do it:

Make Interim Professionals Part of the Staffing Plan

In order to truly bring interim professionals into the fold, you should make them part of your staffing plan. Hiring interim employees shouldn’t be something you do on a whim, but instead something you evaluate and decide well before the hiring phase. Rather than hire full-time employees, some positions simply are better suited for temporary placement.

Rapid Changes and Hiring Strategies

From every-changing technologies to increased regulations, the pace of business can be is so rapid, it just makes sense for many employers to have a flexible staffing plan. In order to access specialized expertise and support key initiatives, businesses are now supplementing their workforce with consultants and temporary professionals, as needed.

Additionally, it can be challenging to find highly skilled candidates in today’s low unemployment market. According to recent BLS research, job openings outnumbered applicants by nearly half a million. Nowadays, it is common for employers to take up-to four weeks or more to fill an open accounting and finance position. Which can be stressful when trying to keep daily productivity on track until the position is filled.

Lastly, employers want the ability to add employees while avoiding over-hiring. A flexible staffing strategy allows employers to ramp up personnel for key projects and workload spikes, and eventually commit to full-time hiring when necessary.

Make Professionals Feel Part of the Team

It’s important to bring on interim professionals in a way that is truly collaborative with the rest of the team. Each member will likely work with this interim professional at some point during their stay, so make sure introductions have been made. This means introducing them to staff, giving them tours of the office, and give them a thorough onboarding process. Make them feel like they are truly connected. Take time to review the company’s vision and answer any questions that they may have.

Sometimes, businesses make the mistake of viewing interim employees as disposable. These people bring a skill set that you need. Remember, these individuals are part of your company culture the moment that they walk in the door—treated them as such. 

Click here for Strategies for Building a High Performing Team

leadership changes

Guiding Employees Through Leadership Changes

Leadership changes can gravely alter the morale and productivity of your office if not handled properly. Patiently guiding your employees through their change related anxiety can be challenging. However, it is ultimately the best way to ensure that employees feel a sense of security and operations continue smoothly.

Involve Employees

One of the very best things you can do is to involve your employees. Offering updates along the way can put people at ease and ensure that they will be the first to know of any sudden changes that may come up. This level of transparency creates trust and understanding which will boost morale and keep employees invested during this vulnerable time.

Ask Employees How They are Doing

This simple question can go a long way in calming the nerves of everybody in the workplace. People want to talk about their feelings and a few minutes of interaction can allow them to vent in a healthy and productive way. Be careful not to get upset by what employees say during this time. They may not be thrilled with the changes, but hearing them out and addressing their concerns can be helpful.

Describe the Future

Employees want to know that there’s still a future for them in the workplace. Be sure to explain to them exactly what the future is intended to look like and what it means for them specifically. If their roles are subject to change during this time, make sure they have a full picture understanding of what that looks like for them. 

Be Positive About Leadership Changes

Change is hard on everybody. Your attitude matters. Everybody gets stressed out during periods of transition, but as a leader, it is your job to remain positive and give your employees hope. This doesn’t mean you should lie about any concerns, but it does mean that you should face the changes with a good attitude that could potentially influence everybody else. 

You may also be interested in Why Are Your Employees Quitting?

employee quitting

Why Are Your Employees Quitting?

Revenue loss from employees quitting accounts for approximately 11 billion dollars annually. It is impossible to keep every employee with you for the rest of their careers. However, you can make sure that you’re doing everything possible to encourage employee retention. We have compiled some tips below that can help.

Review Your Management Team

Management is a common reason for employees quitting a company. Even the most loyal employees can become disengaged when there are unresolved management issues. Review exit interview information and identify if there is an individual or a theme that continues to arise and then seek to resolve that issue immediately.

Create a Career for Employees

Strong employees want to know that they are doing everything they can to improve themselves and your company. Many employees will start searching for career growth outside of their current position if they can’t see a long-term career from where they sit. Make sure to communicate potential avenues for career growth and that you are offering opportunities for advancement and training.

Ask Tough Questions About Why Employees are Quitting

When an employee quits, it can be easy to blame them. However, it is more helpful to look inwardly at the company to identify things that you can change. Conduct an exit interview to help you learn what you can do to keep your other employees from quitting.

  • What did we do wrong?
  • What can we improve upon in the future?
  • How could we have kept them in the company?

While some employees are going to leave for reasons that are beyond your control, it is cost effective to make sure that you’re doing everything to keep your employees happy. If you can identify some of the issues that are currently arising in your organization and fix them, you will see positive results. Their improved morale will lead to an improvement in your productivity and overall job satisfaction.

For more tips about employee retention, check out It’s Time to Raise Salaries!


Satisfaction and Productivity Boosting Perks

Perks Defined

Perks are employee incentives not tied to salary and benefit contracts. Perk fads come and go, allowing you to swap out less desired ones for those that promise productivity and satisfaction.

A Look at What Perks Offer Your Company

You want to assure that investing in perks offers paybacks that exceed the company’s financial outlay.

Benefits to your business:

  • Improve company performance
  • Increased recruitment and retention
  • Absenteeism Reduction
  • Improved employee engagement and customer satisfaction

Perks Benefit Employees

Create an engaged, productive team by boosting employee well-being.

Results include:

  • Improved physical and emotional health
  • Increased energy
  • Positive work-life balance
  • Feeling valued by the organization

Perk Picks: What’s Trending

Here’s a selection and what’s been shared about each perk’s preference:

  • Natural light: Increases energy and attention; reduces eyestrain and fatigue.
  • Skill development and workplace education: Employee feels valued while learning.
  • Flexed schedule: Aids with work-life balance, caring for family, and preferred work hours.
  • Plants and artwork: Add natural and creative touches that soften the work setting.
  • Remote work hours: Increases productivity as it balances with an employee’s family roles.
  • Wellness options: Keeping fit at work boosts morale and energy levels.
  • Pets at work: Create calm and caring for owners and colleagues.
  • Extended summer weekends: No explanation needed!
  • Paid and personal time off bonuses: Supports multiple family and personal commitments.

Engage Employees in Perk Selection

The simple act of asking for employee ideas and input leads to employee engagement. When you implement perks they have selected, workplace loyalty grows. Ways to learn more about the perks that capture employee interest are:

  • Surveys
  • Brain-storming sessions
  • Team challenges: Each team proposes a perk, describing the benefits for them and the company, along with anticipated costs.
  • A perk idea board on which employees add comments to those posted.
  • Ask employees to perk track by sharing what they like or don’t about each one the team has chosen.

Click here to find more Employee Perks to Boost Retention.

new hire orientation

Creating a Successful New Hire Orientation Program

You may call the program orientation or on-boarding. Regardless, you are looking for the same outcome: A successful new hire program for new employees. Gone are the days of paperwork laden, boringly exhausting orientations. Welcome to the era of creating a genuine welcome for your new hire.

Begin Onboarding at Time of Hire

Design a system to have required documents completed prior to orientation.

  • This helps to reduce the boredom factor.
  • It allows HR to assure that required documents are filed or to follow up as needed.
  • Use this as a topic during onboarding by:
    • Getting new hires’ feedback about the process.
    • Reinforcing the importance of information in relation to corporate values.
    • Adding touches of humor as appropriate.

Make the New Hire Feel Welcome

Chances are you recall an orientation period from your past that could have gone better. It was days before your computer was set up, or you were handed a packet of information to read, sign, and return. At day’s end you left wondering if the place was the right fit for you.

To help your newest employees feel welcome:

  • Have hiring managers match them with mentors.
  • Liven up group onboarding sessions with interactive games, discussions, and tours of the business.
  • Encourage social networking, inviting other employees to join orientation tours and activities.

Talk About the Job

From date of hire, new employees wonder what is in store. Talk about the position and why each was hired to encourage the security that leads to success.

  • Link roles and responsibilities discussion with the new hire’s abilities and aspirations.
  • Share ways for new hires to contribute to teams and the organization.
  • Use an open, engaging tone that supports dialogue.
  • Be upfront with information about evaluations, timing for reviews, performance bonuses, and improvement plans.

Next Steps: Keep the New Hire Engaged

Managers help new hires to feel part of the organization with informal and formal interactions by:

  • Checking in while touring the department.
  • Dropping an email to inquire how they are doing.
  • Assuring that periodic reviews have timely completion.
  • Requesting them to assess the orientation process.
  • Inquiring what they need to best fulfill their responsibilities.

Check out Employee Perks to Boost Retention to help you hold on to those new hires.


Hiring Strategies to Land Your Best Employees

Beyond Hiring as Usual

When searching for job candidates in 2019, you should be fine-tuning your hiring strategies. With low unemployment rates, supply is down and demand is up, along with the competition for top candidates in the accounting and finance field. This can make it challenging to lure in candidates for executive-level positions.

Hiring strategies that worked in past years simply don’t work with today’s low unemployment rates. Job candidates have the upper hand, meaning you need to retool your efforts in order to attract the best candidates.

Consider these points as you proceed with recruitment:
  • Identify the assets and skills most needed for the position and the organization.
  • Determine past work/personality styles that became a liability for productivity.

Hiring Strategies from a Who’s Who of Leaders

This summary of key hiring strategies comes from a diverse group of business leaders, from those in garments and online retail, to publishing, finance, and entertainment. They include Sara Blakely, Jeff Bezos, Leslie Jane Seymour, Bob Iger, Sallie Krawcheck, and Warren Buffett.

Hire people with skills that complement each other.
  • There can be some overlap although you want to see talent distinctions in your team.
  • Choose people with assets that balance your limitations.
Optimism and positivity pay off.
  • Look for prospective employees who will be a positive influence on others.
  • Add an optimist to your team to help with finding the silver lining amidst gloom. This strength is associated with innovation and rich problem solving.
Focus on what you want to learn during the interview. This is key to discerning which candidate best fulfills your needs for the position.
  • Listen closely to the candidate’s questions. These can be more revealing than their responses to your questions.
  • Identify if a candidate demonstrates qualities you value.
Honesty is the best policy.
  • Don’t sugarcoat aspects of the position that are demanding.
  • Be clear about current business challenges to allow the candidate to determine if they’re up to the task.

Partner With an Accounting and Finance Recruiter

You don’t have to do this alone. In fact, you may want to make this your first step in the process of finding and hiring skilled professionals.

Specialized Accounting and Finance staffing agencies are familiar with current hiring strategies and have large networks of accounting and finance professionals to meet your hiring needs.

Not only do our recruiters vet the candidates, but they also streamline the interview process and help with the offer stage to ensure smooth negotiations.

For tips on how to keep your new hires, check out: Employee Perks to Boost Retention

exit interview

Exit Interview Tips

An exit interview can offer useful information about your organization’s policies, procedures, and practices. They can teach you which policies are working and which policies may need to be revised. For employees, an exit interview is an opportunity to give a review of their experience.

When both the employer and employee focus on constructively learning from each other, an exit interview can end on a positive note. Many times the feedback employees provide is positive, and when it’s not, it gives you valuable insight on how to fix it for other employees.

Determine Who is Best for the Interview

Consider having the HR manager or an outside consultant conduct the exit interview.

  • Although it seems expedient to have the department manager be responsible, doing so can obstruct useful information.
  • That can occur based on relationship dynamics or the desire for a good reference.

Learn Why Employees Leave

Employees resign for many reasons. Carefully crafted questions can help to identify course corrections your organization can consider for improved employee performance and retention.

  • Ask why the employee is leaving. Listen and request more information if doing so adds value.
    • When did you first decide to move on?
    • Was there a particular event that led to this decision?
  • Inquire about key junctures during a person’s employment:
    • As you look back on your onboarding weeks, were there steps in the process that should be changed? Please describe.
    • What, if any, changes should be made in the employee performance appraisal process?
  • Ask questions about the compensation, benefits, and perks of the workplace.
    • What is your opinion about our company’s salary and benefits package?
    • Are there suggestions you have for improving these or company perks?

Conduct an Open-Ended Exit Interview

Allow sufficient time to listen to suggestions and/or complaints the departing employee offers.

  • Inquire about their feelings about leaving the company without letting it become negative.
    • How do they feel about leaving?
    • What are the top two things about working here?
    • What three aspects of this organization would you change?
    • Please elaborate on the most important change we should make.
  • Ask for information specific to their time with the organization.
    • What was your most important achievement at this job?
    • What is one thing you hoped to accomplish and did not?
    • What supported you with the first and limited you with the second?

Closing Thoughts

  • Express appreciation for the employee’s service and contributions to the organization.
  • Close with a simple statement. Thank you for making the time for this exit interview. Add words that are relevant for this now past employee.

Check out How to Keep Your Employees from Fleeing

motivate employees

2 Ways to Motivate Employees

There are two methods to motivate employees. One is extrinsic from external sources. The other is intrinsic from internal sources. Capitalizing on the benefits of each type of motivator stimulates drive and overall achievement. Review these motivating actions, noting those you already do!

The Engaged Leader

Employees look to you for direction, guidance and encouragement.

  • Give clear, concise directions.
    • This applies to organizational direction as well as details.
    • Check in with your employees to identify any needed clarity.
  • Individualize employee and work group guidance.
    • This assures that the business mission and procedures are accurately implemented.
    • Conduct course correction when a team or individual needs coaching to meet expectations.
  • Give individual attention to build trust, foster loyalty, and encourage performance.
    • By being “present,” your employees will feel connected with you.
    • Acknowledge individuals personally to help them relate to you and your business.
    • Listen to their concerns and ideas to foster engagement.
    • Express sincere gratitude and compliments to boost morale.
    • Work side-by-side with employees to demonstrate interest in their tasks and responsibilities.

Offering Opportunities Will Motivate Employees

Offer your employees opportunities that are meaningful while adding business value.

  • Hire from within to:
    • Motivate employees by rewarding and encouraging excellence.
    • Build internal capacity as employees grow with the business.
    • Decrease employee concerns of being overlooked in favor of outside talent.
  • Invest in skill development by:
    • Offering incentives for taking courses that align with business goals.
    • Providing on the job training that improves work outcomes.
    • Garnering interest in projects that build on and expand existing skills.

Environment Matters

A positive office atmosphere can encourage engagement and motivation.

  • Consider an office redesign that:
    • Includes good lighting.
    • Improves health, as with standing/sitting stations, ergonomically designed furniture, etc.
    • Incorporates comfortable small group meeting/break areas.
  • Relationships:
    • Encourage an atmosphere of transparency with an open exchange of ideas.
    • Build on common work and life interests to promote group cohesion.

For more tips to help you motivate employees, check out Management Tricks To Make You More Likable

management tricks likable

Management Tricks to Make You More Likable

The way an employee feels about management not only impacts whether or not they stay with a company long-term, but it can also influence morale and day-to-day productivity. If you want the most out of your employees, then it’s time you start investing in that relationship. Check out the following management tricks:

Adapt Your Management Style

Not every employee responds well to a particular managerial style. It’s important to get to know the employees and how they work best. Just as you would ask your employees to perform specific tasks, you should also listen to what they ask of you, too.

Be Transparent

The “because I said so” approach to managing is a dead tactic. Instead, try to be as open and honest as you can about why you implement certain policies or why changes are being made. Employees respect a manager when they can understand their thought process more clearly.

Resist Micro Managing

When a boss gets in the habit of constantly interfering with their employee’s process, then you inadvertently create a child/parent relationship. Resist the urge to micromanage and simply delegate tasks and wait for results. Focus on handling issues as they arise instead of looking for ways to avoid them. It’s not effective, and it tells your employees that you don’t trust or respect them.

Have an Open-Door Policy

Employees respond best to managers that want to hear from them. An open-door policy lets employees know that they can come to you if there’s an issue without having to worry about the red tape. Listening to your employees’ concerns can go a long way in helping you develop better procedures moving forward. All in all, it could help you identify weak points and adjust your processes accordingly.


A manager’s attitude can undoubtedly impact the workplace. If you want your employees to respect and genuinely like you, then you must ensure that you are displaying strong leadership and quality communication skills. Ultimately, this will influence whether or not your company succeeds.

Every manager should read these Employee Perks to Boost Retention