Management lessons and mitigating risk: how tech can help in the wake of the Sepp saga

It has been an eventful week for world football governing body, Fifa, with the re-election and subsequent resignation of its President Sepp Blatter amidst ongoing allegations of corruption by top ranking Fifa officials.

Rather ironically, independent governing bodies tend to be formed as a means of promoting best practice across their respective industries and encouraging responsible and ethical behavior in business. Within the HR community for instance, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) sets out codes of conduct and professional standards to which members are required to adhere.

This being the case, the Fifa furore does beg the question: Who presides from an ethical standpoint when an allegation of misconduct is made against one or more senior members of a governing body itself? Well, that remains to be seen, and no doubt we will hear more media debate on the subject as the Blatter saga continues to unfold.

An equally high-profile example of illegal and unethical conduct within an organization is the News of the World phone hacking scandal. The ensuing Leveson Enquiry revealed this to be rife amongst reporters on the media outlet’s news desk, and a number of journalists were consequently charged, convicted, and given custodial prison sentences. The subsequent dissolution of the News of the World itself is a prime example of the power that employees have to either build or break a brand.

It’s clear therefore that an employee’s illegal and/or unethical behavior – and a boss’s for that matter – can create serious reputational and business performance implications. Furthermore, if any degree of culpability on the part of the organization itself can be assumed, it too may face investigation and legal action.

So with this in mind, what HR systems and processes can be put in place to mitigate the business risks that can arise from human error and conduct? And, in an ever-digital world where online blunders are published for all to see, how can HR technology support businesses to better manage, engage and support visibility to reduce risk, and in fact, encourage positive behaviors?

The answer to a global cloud-based HR solutions provider company of course lies in garnering better workforce insight and visibility through the use of technology, not just for reasons of compliance, but also to encourage and recognise positive initiatives. Better visibility = greater transparency, and with greater transparency, employees are less able to act inappropriately or illegally without detection or professional sanction. Automated onboarding and succession capabilities – something intuitive support systems should be able to deliver (but in the most case don’t) also provide opportunity to ensure relevant training is given to new recruits, so that employees know not only how to do their jobs, but also how to execute their duties in a legal, responsible and ethical way.

In short, knowledge is power for organizations, and the optimization of global HR systems and processes is a great way to improve internal communications and encourage best practice in business across the board; and of course, with increased visibility, this ensures it starts at the very top.

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