Integrity: Measure to act

13 Mar, 2024 | Noticias-en, Opinions

Last January, Fundación Generación Empresarial presented the results of a study that has been carried out annually for 18 years. A total of 165 public and private institutions, for-profit and non-profit, large and small, were encouraged to be part of the Recognition of Commitment to Integrity, a process that allows them to know how they live the values, and which culminated with a ceremony that He distinguished those that stood out the most. This is the largest number that has participated in this activity that includes the application of the Barometer of Values ​​and Organizational Integrity and the delivery of documentation that certifies good practices. More than 45 thousand people from all walks of life responded to this survey about the advancement of the “culture of integrity” in their workplace, communicating with actions and not words, that integrity is a central value in their work, and that they are making genuine efforts to improve themselves.

On average, people who responded to the Barometer expressed themselves positively about the place where they work. They said that there are established values ​​and they are promoted (87%), that they are actively disseminated (82%) and that managers act in accordance with them by setting an example (72%). They also expressed concern that their organization could become involved in corruption scandals (one in three people). These figures are reason to be optimistic. But the situation in the country makes us be cautious because, in the circumstances we live in today, it is not integrity that monopolizes the headlines, but corruption.

The Barometer measures perceptions and the Accreditation Guidelines record the institutionalization of practices of the Ethics and Compliance Program. Today we talk about “compliance” to refer to the legal requirements that must be met, but if this becomes an issue that is entrusted only to lawyers, it does not help much. This way, behaviors are not changed much.

The focus should be on corporate governance and culture, that is, the way things are expected to be done, how the organization is run and decisions are made at the top level. This implies that “the tone at the top”, which refers to the actions promoted by managers, must be effective in strongly communicating the ethical implications of behavior at all levels of the organization. Your message should be that you have to strive to “do things right,” and that you trust people’s ability to self-regulate their behavior. The best way to make this message credible is through ethical leadership that “speaks from action” and “zero tolerance” for abuse and corruption.

Not only people with values-based behavior win. Whoever acts accordingly, whatever their role, will feel the satisfaction of having done their best and this will have a positive impact on the work environment. The same goes for organizations. Their effort to get things done supports the integrity of the entire country. Hence the importance of all organizations “dare to be better.” Measuring yourself is the first step of change, as it shows the intention to renew yourself. But we must move beyond measurement… it is time to act.

By Fernanda Hurtado, General Manager FGE and Compliance Latam Collaborator.


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