FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (4/29/14)--Having a strong ethical culture is not only the right thing to do for an organization, it also drives business performance and improves the bottom line, the head of CUNA Mutual Group's ethics and compliance area told a CUNA HR/TD Council Conference audience Monday.
|CUNA Mutual Group's Steve Koslow makes a point during his ethics presentation at the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference Monday. (CUNA Mutual photo)|
"Research over the past 10 years shows a positive correlation between business performance and companies with high integrity," said Steve Koslow, CUNA Mutual senior vice president of chief ethics and compliance officer.
A study conducted by the Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council showed a strong connection between the health of corporate culture and total shareholder return, Koslow said.
"This relationship suggests the expanding influence and impact of culture over the long term," Koslow said. "While a healthy culture can drive stronger business performance, a weak ethics culture could hinder business performance. As consumers become more aware of this positive relationship between company integrity and shareholder return, you can expect their investment dollars will gravitate to more ethical companies."
An ethical culture also increases loyalty with employees, members and vendors. "It helps keep employees more engaged and aligned with company values, which can increase productivity," Koslow said.
Citing data from corporate regulatory and culture consultant LRN and public relations firm Edelman, Koslow said a strong ethics program can help credit unions:
CUNA Mutual Group has seen the benefits of having a strong ethical culture. Despite U.S. economic challenges over the years, the insurer has consistently delivered strong financial results and attributes some of the success to its culture, Koslow added.
For the second straight year, CUNA Mutual Group has been recognized as one of the world's most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent international think tank that rates companies' business ethics and social responsibility practices. The company has also been recognized as one of the "Best Companies to Work For" by Greater Madison (Wis.) InBusiness magazine.
"A reputation of trust is critical to maintain and grow your customer base, especially for a business like ours, which sells a promise to pay in the future," Koslow said.