ethics-compliance-help.pngCompanies’ ethics and compliance attempts focus too much on checklists, instead of culture and employees’ behavior, according to a new report.

The research found ethics and compliance activities that generated ethical behavior in employees and managers were often associated with three program elements — effective communication, core organizational beliefs expressed in behavioral terms and buy-in from managers and the C-suite.

Not all companies, however, have adopted that approach. Less than half (45 percent) say C-level executives consider ethical behavior a prerequisite for promotion. Only half of ethics officers say middle managers at their firms believe they are responsible for assessing ethics and compliance risk for their business and teams.

Conversely, the vast majority — 90 percent — of chief compliance and ethics officers at companies with the most ethical cultures say their middle managers are enabled to help communicate the firm’s code of conduct throughout the organization.

For more on ethics and compliance, read more about legal research, analysis and compliance service provider LRN’s Program Effectiveness Index report.