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New Ethisphere Report Highlights Training and Communications Practices of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies®

Volume Three of the Insight Series Shares How Leading Companies Plan, Implement and Measure Effectiveness of Training Programs

Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, today announced the launch of volume three of its 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies® Insights Report series.

The report covers the topic of Training and Communications and focuses on building effective training plans, training targeting and practices, measuring training effectiveness, and the different modalities and approaches to communications. The report is available at

Through the World’s Most Ethical Companies process, Ethisphere annually recognizes a select group of companies with exceptional programs and practices. Grounded in Ethisphere’s proprietary Ethics Quotient®, the World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment process includes more than 200 data points on culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity, and initiatives to support a strong value chain. In 2020, 132 honorees were recognized, representing 51 countries and 21 industries.

“As would be expected, the World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees have comprehensive training plans that provide a long-term framework and the flexibility to address rising issues,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, Executive Vice President, Data and Services, Ethisphere. “While planning is key, the recent Department of Justice update to the Guidance on Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs reiterated the importance of metrics showing program effectiveness. This is also an area where the World’s Most Ethical Companies excel, each using a variety of measurement approaches,”

Key Findings
Training Effectiveness Measurement by Multiple Modalities:
The DOJ’s June 2020 update to the regulatory guidance has made it clear that it expects companies to implement program elements and to measure how effectively they are impacting the organization’s culture. Here are the top three measurement practices of the World’s Most Ethical Companies:

  • 94% track misconduct trends
  • 87% conduct ethical culture assessments
  • 82% track training failures in root-cause analyses

A Range of Training Program Elements:
The World’s Most Ethical Companies have a variety of practices to target employee training, including assigning training based on tenure and expanding the library of courses managers can assign to employees.

  • 61% incorporate gaming or augmented reality into training – a 13-percentage point increase from 2018
  • Honorees are nearly two times more likely to allow employees to select topics covered for their required training (37% now, a 23-percentage point increase from 2017 data)
  • Honorees are twice as likely to allow employees to take pretests to “test out” training (28% now vs. 14% in 2016). In some cases, they use this information to give employees more advanced content.

Storytelling: A Core Element of Communications:
Storytelling is among the most valuable tools for making misconduct, investigations, discipline, and culture more transparent to employees.

  • 80% of senior executives share personal examples and stories in their communications about ethics and compliance
  • 95% of honorees include stories in training and communications; and 91% are drawing on stories that happen within their own organizations

“Training and communications are the cornerstone of every effective ethics and compliance program. This report offers practical insights into how leading companies are using diverse modalities, compelling stories and new technologies to engage employees on ethics and compliance,” stated Tyler Lawrence, co-author of the report and Editor, Ethisphere Magazine.

In a June 24th webcast, Ethisphere experts will share data and trends from the full series of the World’s Most Ethical Companies Insights Reports. To register, visit:

All companies that participate in the annual World’s Most Ethical Companies process receive an analytical scorecard that provides a holistic assessment of where their programs stand against the demanding standards of leading companies. Ethisphere has compiled this valuable information for several years.

All Ethisphere research, content, and expertise, such as a recent special report about digital innovation, can be found on the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) member hub, which is made available to global members of BELA. To request guest access, please contact Executive Vice President Jonathan Whitacre at [email protected].

About Ethisphere 

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere also helps to advance business performance through data-driven assessments, benchmarking, and guidance. More information about Ethisphere can be found at​


Media Contact
Aarti Maharaj
Director of Communications
[email protected]