E&C Pulse - November 6th

November 6, 2018 Ben DiPietro

Mobile Offers Opportunities to Advance Ethics, Compliance

The march to a worldwide digital workforce proceeds unabated, as industries realize their survival depends on how well they navigate the move to a digital economy where knowledge is king, and where people and robots work together from anywhere on the globe. 

The number of mobile employees is projected to grow to 1.87 billion people by 2022, or 42.5% of the global workforce, according to a report from Strategy Analytics. That's up from 1.45 billion, or 38.8%, in 2016. 

This trend will only accelerate, as aging workers are supplanted by Millennials and those even younger than them, generations who have spent their entire lives learning and now working in mobile, digital environments.

This dynamic, ever-changing workplace requires new skills--and new ways of applying old skills--and organizations and workers alike realize they need to change to stay current.

A survey from Accenture earlier this year found 95% of respondents said they will need new skills to stay relevant at work, while a report from Deloitte this past summer found 91% of employees work outside their designated functional areas, highlighting the importance of being nimble and the ability to learn new skills, or to apply existing skills in new ways.

It's not just employees who need to adapt; organizations must learn how to best transition to digital, and to do so in ways that are not disruptive to operations but are supportive to employees as they make the journey. 

While change brings disruption, it offers many opportunities to strengthen an organization's culture, and offers innovative ways to amplify messages about compliance and good behavior, said Sunil Bheda, chief product officer at LRN.

"With this new proliferation, mobile apps can provide a more proactive approach to ethics and compliance by leveraging a device's geolocation and auto notifications to provide users with information they need based on regional and/or activity risks," said Bheda.

For example, a sales team traveling to Latin America can receive a message upon their arrival, reminding them of gifts and entertainment limits in the countries they are visiting. Or an executive headed to Eastern Europe can receive a reminder about ethical guidelines when interacting with government officials, or third-party agents acting on a government's behalf.

A number of companies already use mobile apps to deliver their codes of conduct to their global workforces, allowing their values to be accessed at any time of day, anywhere, and in the local language. And more are making the move.

"In almost every conversation I’ve been having with partners and prospects around codes of conduct, they are definitely asking for mobile solutions," primarily because that is the way most people access information, especially younger workers, said Jim Walton, an advisor for ethics and compliance at LRN. The company is building momentum with its mobile platforms, allowing companies to easily make their code, policies and hotline accessible by any device. 

"It’s more about getting the ethics and compliance message out and making it easier for people to access the information and ask questions when they are unsure," said Walton.

While digital offers more effective methods to deliver ethics and compliance messages, organizations often put E&C at the end of the line when it comes to updating their mobile capabilities, said Shuba Balasubramanian, a risk and financial advisory principal with Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP, in a Deloitte-sponsored article earlier this year.

This is because the C-suite places a higher priority on transforming areas of the business that more directly affect profits, such as sales, supply chain, R&D and other parts of the operation that can improve return on investment, said Balasubramanian.

"Compounding the problem, compliance and internal audit groups may not yet grasp the speed and scope of digitization underway in the organization," she said.

A key is not to feel overwhelmed by the task, and not to try to do it all at once, she said. Take advantage of work already being done in the organization regarding the move to mobile, strengthen relationships with IT and continue to make the case that compliance needs to be modernized for today's work world as much as any other function.

“As digital technologies take on a larger role in the way organizations conduct their business, compliance and internal audit have no choice but to join in the transformation," said Balasubramanian. 

Ben DiPietro


Research from Accenture of U.S. workers found 90% said they were optimistic about changes technology will bring to their work in the next five years. Eighty percent think automation will bring positive impacts to their work experience in the next five years, 77% expect part of their job to become automated in that time, and 86% said they would use some of their free time to learn new skills to remain relevant to employers.


Corporate leaders must be ready to learn new skills and adjust their thinking if they want to remain effective leaders amid the ongoing digital revolution, according to a blog post from MIT Sloan Management Review.

The New York Times found the size of penalties against companies for wrongdoing is down substantially in the Trump administration.

The man who created the web, Tim Berners-Lee, is advocating for tech firms to agree to a code of ethics that includes respecting the privacy of people and data, and promising to keep the internet free and accessible, Business Insider reports.

Black Rock Inc. the world's largest asset manager, is pressing companies to add more women to their boards, Bloomberg reports.  

Compliance officers are focusing their attention and putting more resources to meeting new customer due diligence rules enacted earlier this year by the U.S. Treasury Department, Corporate Counsel reports.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School, University of California-Los Angeles and Rand Corp. found workers are willing to give up substantial amounts of pay for non-wage benefits such as paid time off or reduced physical activity on the job, Bloomberg reports.



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LRN's CEO, Dov Seidman, was featured as a "Groundbreaker" at The New York Times DealBook conference last week. Before the event, they were asked questions about their careers. Read Dov's response in the article below.



LRN recently released a new course that meets both New York State and City requirements for interactive education on sexual harassment prevention. Get an inside look into this new course by watching a video clip on the importance of Bystander Intervention training.


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