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Organisational Culture

A culture of integrity must be intentionally shaped. A strong ethics and compliance programme, built on an organisation’s values and principles, is the bedrock for creating a culture that is focused on outstanding quality and business outcomes.

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Building and maintaining a strong organisational culture

From attracting top talent to keeping employees motivated and engaged, ethical companies have a proven business advantage. For a risk and compliance programme to be truly successful, it must not only meet legal requirements; it must also align with and support organisational culture, as well as its mission, goals, traditions and norms.

Building a strong organisational culture doesn’t happen overnight. Risk & compliance officers intent on creating a culture of respect face big challenges, but it can and should be done. Culture starts with the tone at the top, a code of conduct and training, but those things alone don’t build a culture of ethics and respect. Culture is organic, manifested by how employees act and treat others, and how they support your organisation’s purpose and values. An ethical culture empowers and encourages employees to do the right thing. Sustaining an ethical culture takes continual awareness and communication. Beyond messaging, culture also has to manifest in the actions of your workforce and in the tone of your workplace.

Ten Steps to Create an Organizational Culture of Ethics, Integrity & Compliance

What you need

Code of Conduct

An engaging code of conduct that conveys your company’s values, expectations and key messages.


Processes in place for managers to handle open door reports and employee complaints.

Policy Management

A system that ensures your employees read and sign your corporate policies, including your code of ethics.


A multi-year, risk-based and engaging training plan for employees and managers that changes behaviour.

Safe Way to Speak Up

A secure and anonymous channel through which employees and third parties can report concerns.


An assessment of your current culture which includes employee feedback.

Report Management

Tracking of reported incidents of misconduct so you spot issues early and address them head-on.


Ongoing reminders to keep your compliance programme top of mind, including posters with your hotline number.

Steps you can take to build an ethical culture

Step 1

Define your culture by creating a strong Code of Conduct that engages and inspires employees. Make sure all employees read, attest to, and fully embrace your code from the top down with a policy management system.

Step 2

Ensure you are capturing potential issues and handling them in an appropriate way with an externally hosted hotline and incident management system.

Step 3

Teach all your employees what an ideal culture looks like – especially your board and executives - and present real-world scenarios to inform them on how to act in ethical situations with engaging online training.