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9 Learning Trends to Know: 2023’s Most Popular Ethics and Compliance Topics

In an era marked by rapid changes in regulatory landscapes, ethical norms, and corporate governance standards, the significance of ethics and compliance (E&C) in shaping the future of businesses cannot be overstated. 

2023 Ethics and Compliance Learning TrendsThe focus on E&C continues to intensify. Increasingly, organizations are recognizing E&C’s pivotal role in mitigating risks, fostering trust, and ensuring long-term sustainability. 

As KPMG recently reported, nearly three in four Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers are facing escalating amounts of pressure from Boards and regulators, with over half saying they face Board pressure to enhance compliance. 

Key themes within ethics and compliance learning have emerged in 2023, offering insights and guiding principles for companies striving to navigate this complex terrain. 

On that note, below we provide a comprehensive overview of top E&C themes that have dominated discussions and practices in 2023 at our organization among our readers, clients, and colleagues alike.  

More than mere trends, these themes represent a True North compass of sorts. They highlight the evolving priorities and challenges faced by businesses globally.  

Each theme reflects a critical aspect of E&C, from the enforcement of legal standards to the integration of social and governance factors into corporate strategy. They also underscore the growing recognition of people-driven risk and behavior as key elements in shaping a robust ethical culture. Understanding and managing these human factors is crucial for businesses to navigate uncertainties and maintain integrity in an ever-changing corporate landscape. 

Here’s a recap of SAI360’s most popular E&C themes for 2023: 

Artificial Intelligence’s Corporate Risks and Opportunities 

The integration of AI in today’s technology-driven era offers both remarkable opportunities and significant challenges for organizations. While AI holds immense potential for positive change and innovation, it also introduces uncertainties that require thoughtful consideration and mitigation. Organizations are now tasked with ethically and responsibly navigating the complexities of AI implementation as it reshapes industries and redefines business strategies. Understanding the journey towards ethical AI allows organizations to balance the benefits of AI with the need to address its potential risks. 

Read more: The Ethical AI Journey: Balancing Enthusiasm with Caution 

DOJ Trends and E&C Program Impact 

Recent developments from the DOJ and Delaware courts have emphasized the importance of robust E&C programs. Organizations with strong E&C programs are more likely to receive favorable treatment in legal scenarios, highlighting the critical role of these programs in corporate governance. 

Read more: DOJ Trends over the Past Year 

ESG – A Cultural Evolution 

The rise of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues has shifted the corporate landscape, requiring a holistic approach to integrate these elements into business practices. It’s critical to align ESG initiatives with corporate strategy, in accordance with the evolving role of compliance practitioners. 

Beyond having an ESG policy, the success of these programs hinges on the prevailing culture within an organization, influenced by the beliefs and behaviors of employees and stakeholders. Therefore, it’s crucial for organizations to actively execute and demonstrate progress on ESG goals, not only through policy but also through practical actions and comprehensive training. This approach ensures that ESG principles are not just theoretical concepts but are actively lived and reflected in every aspect of the organization’s operations. 

Read more: ESG: A Cultural Evolution 

Global Ethics and Compliance Training Trends 

SAI360’s webinar highlighted the evolving landscape of E&C training programs, emphasizing the need for effective strategies to protect brand reputation and enhance corporate culture. According to SAI360’s 2022 Global Ethics & Compliance Benchmark report, top business goals being worked on (the top five, in order of first to last) were generating data to measure and improve performance, raising awareness and understanding of complex regulations, creating uniformity and standardization in work methods, minimizing third-party risk exposure, and creating a more positive workplace culture. 

Watch the webinar: 2022 Global Ethics & Compliance Benchmark Survey Results 

SAI360 Ethics and Compliance Learning Catalog 

This year, SAI360’s catalog has emerged as a valuable resource for corporate training, offering an extensive collection of E&C learning content that caters to the diverse and global nature of corporate training requirements. Covering a wide range of topics such as business ethics, corporate culture, conflicts of interest, financial integrity, anti-money laundering, and information security, it emphasizes the importance of ethical decision-making and compliance in fostering a reputable workplace culture.  

Download a copy of Ethics Compliance Learning Content Collection 

Updating Your Code of Conduct 

Our popular webinar focused on the necessity of regularly updating the Code of Conduct to reflect evolving risks and best practices, offering guidance on creating effective training programs around these codes. This topic is especially important, as many organizations perhaps tend to embrace more of a “set it and forget it” approach in terms of not regularly making updates. As rapidly evolving best practices continue emerging, updating your Code of Conduct is a critical business imperative. 

Watch the webinar: Tips & Tricks to Update Your Code of Conduct 

Elevating Learning Data Analytics 

SAI360’s webinar delved into the potential of advanced data analytics in transforming E&C training, highlighting the Know Your Risk (KYR) Model and its impact on understanding behavioral risks. KYR delivers insights into an organization’s top areas of risk. It includes pre- and post-tests, courses to help leaders identify risks and act on them accordingly, and a course analytics dashboard. 

Watch a demo walk-through: Training in Action: Making Your Learning Data Count 

Essential Components of E&C Training 

How do you build a streamlined and efficient E&C program? This webinar outlined the eight essential elements of an effective E&C program, tailored for the modern world, covering a range of topics from anti-bribery to data privacy. As regulatory expectations increase, job-switching becomes more prominent (for example, Pew Research Center reports the average Baby Boomer has held seven different jobs), the ongoing movement to mobile presses onward, and so forth, E&C training remains an urgent organizational focus. 

Watch the webinar: Back to Basics: 8 Essential Items to Include in Your E&C Program 

Aligning E&C with ESG 

The importance of integrating ESG values into E&C programs, highlighting how this alignment can enhance a company’s market valuation and corporate identity. As ESG programs become crucial for investors, thereby making them a key focus on the board agenda, boards are challenged to effectively embody, assess, and communicate ESG values and initiatives, presenting numerous opportunities for ethics and compliance leaders to enhance value and professional visibility. 

Read the whitepaper: Hidden Opportunities of Aligning Ethics and Compliance with ESG 

Final Thoughts 

2023 has been a year of dynamic change and growth in the realm of ethics and compliance learning. These topics reflect the evolving landscape of corporate responsibility. They also underscore the ongoing need for effective, innovative training solutions in nurturing ethical, compliant workplace cultures. 

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Click here to schedule a virtual coffee with one of our team members and learn more about how SAI360 can help your organization thrive. 

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