As you know by now, we at ProEthics are passionate about training. It empowers our clients and changes hearts and minds about the importance of ethical behaviour. In a conversation with a loyal client, she mentioned disappointment that not all the managers changed their behaviour following ethics training. This raises the question, “How do we know that training is worth the investment in time and money”?

It made me think about what can training achieve, or what the limits of training are. To promote professional ethics, we at ProEthics aim to educate, empower, and inspire our clients to be their
best ethical selves. In practice, our courses address the what, the how and the why. We start with the WHAT by sharing information about what ethics is, what an ethical culture looks like, the
qualities of an ethical leader etc. Then we talk about the HOW – how to increase employee engagement, how to create psychological safety in the workplace, how to enforce ethics-related
policies and so on. Lastly, we address the WHY. Why ethics matters – how personal integrity can stimulate trust and teamwork, how a culture of integrity can attract and retain talent, how an
ethical reputation can prevent brand damage, why being ethical can boost your career etc.

To optimise the effectiveness of our training, we develop the content in such a way that it does not only focus on behaviour (which we cannot control) but on changing mindsets (the information that we share cannot be “un”heard). We bring new ideas, share case studies and experiences, encourage debates, challenge the way leaders think, and sensitise participants to the impact of their behaviour on others. Providing opportunities for reflection and feedback in class helps participants to internalise new concepts and adopt new mindsets. This approach is powerful and the message we bring has the potential to inspire and empower our clients to do the right thing (and keep on doing it).

In conclusion: Despite the best training, not all employees are prepared to change their ways. In such cases, the HR processes might have to be utilised. Investing in training is not an instant cure
but a long-term solution.