Why do I need to brand my program?
Branding your ethics and compliance program—giving it a name and visual identity—makes it approachable and builds trust. It humanizes your program, enabling employees to relate to your Helpline as they would a person, and it presents your code of conduct, policies and more as independent of one individual within the E&C department or the company. It helps build trust that the program is objectively run and credible. Probably the best benefit of branding your program is making it memorable and easy to find.
What should I be thinking about as I think about a brand for my program?
Picking a brand that is relatable and connected to your company is important. Think of a name or identify that employees would immediately connect with and trust. It could be one of your company values, a phrase closely associated with integrity and ethics, or the name of a person, real or unreal, that is often mentioned in your company culture or has some relevance or significance to your industry. Some examples are Convercent’s “Open and Honest Helpline” (based on one of our core values “open and honest”), Speak Up Line, and Integrity Portal. Whatever identity you decide, the most important thing is that your brand be inclusive, approachable, and trustworthy.
Some examples of successful branding we’ve seen are:
Does your program have an existing brand that you will be replacing?
If your program previously had a brand and you want to replace it, this is a great time to rebrand your program into something memorable with your employees. Some organizations will base this off what their company does or a specific company value. See above for some considerations when branding your program.
Additional information here.
What types of messages do you want to include on your Helpline or program landing page?
Picking a name/brand for your program is just Step 1 for launching a successful Helpline, code of conduct, or Ethics and Compliance Portal. Next, you should consider what you want your employees to understand and feel when they interact with your program. Understand that many people who come to the landing page are grappling with the difficult decision of whether to speak up, or in search of a policy that will help them make an ethical decision.
Ensure that they have the necessary information to:
o trust the process or policy,
o understand the process or policy, and
o feel confident in the company’s commitment to the importance of the process and policies.
Your Helpline landing page requires an especially thoughtful approach. Because submitting a report involves a measure of uncertainty on the part of the reporter, who may have never submitted report before, it is recommended that your Helpline landing page include information they may find helpful or reassuring. This includes messaging on what happens after a report is submitted, measures you have in place to protect from retaliation, links to relevant policies or FAQs that will answer their fear or anxiety around reporting serious or deeply personal issues, or a letter from company leaders underscoring the importance of the Helpline. Company logos, a picture of the compliance team or a company leader, and other images can also be included on the landing page.
How will you communicate the launch of your Helpline, portal, or policies to your employees?
There are generally 3 primary goals when launching a new tool:
1) Announcing the availability of the new tool
2) Educating users on what the tool is, how it works, and what the process of using it looks and feels like
3) Using the launch as a branding/re-branding opportunity for the E&C program.
It is important to strategize how best to communicate and manage the change across the organization. We suggest you use our five step communication approach for launching a Helpline, outlined below, as a framework for launching any new tool within your compliance program.
Additional information here.
What is Convercent's five step communication approach to launching a Helpline?
Based on our consistent implementation and launch of hundreds of Convercent Helpline customers, we have developed the following launch plan methodology to guide our customers in communicating the launch of their new Convercent Helpline:
o Step 1. Meet with Business Leaders Ahead of Launch: A step that’s often overlooked is pre-selling the Helpline launch to business leaders and department owners. These meetings are a chance to gain buy-in and support from your fellow business leaders on the front lines. They can preview the landing page and make suggestions for how to launch to their employees. Nothing is one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to think about how to eectively reach all employees and any outside parties with whom you plan to communicate.
o Step 2. Create Collateral: Whether it’s swag, Zoom backgrounds, wallet cards, mousepads, keychains, or posters, creating collateral to communicate the new Helpline is key. When deciding what collateral is best for you, think about your biggest challenge with the Helpline and develop collateral that helps employees overcome that blocker. For example, if remembering where to go is a barrier, create collateral that they will see often or interact with as they complete the functions of their job—like a window decal that can be stuck to the inside of truck drivers’ windshields, for example. Think outside the box for collateral and consider creating something that has a functional purpose, like a branded tool.
o Step 3. Build Up Anticipation: Tell employees a new Helpline is coming, in a fun and engaging way. Create a competition or a game that helps employees understand the dierence between the old Helpline and the new Helpline (if any), makes the Helpline more approachable, and builds excitement around the reasons for either establishing the Helpline or changing it. Some ideas include having executives and leaders record videos of their excitement around the launch, building a banner on your intranet, and giving away prizes if you can.
o Step 4. Have a Launch Party: Launch your Helpline with a “party”—whatever that looks like in your organization—whether it’s a week-long event, a video presentation, a tour of the new Helpline, or an opportunity to stop in for a treat and get swag (even if the swag is virtual). The more you engage with your employees and communicate the benefits of the Helpline, the more trust and awareness you build.
o Step 5. Consistent Follow-Up: Consistently follow up after the launch party to communicate about your Helpline, the process, and the program. Traditional advertising wisdom states that an average person needs to see or interact with something seven times before decide to purchase (or in this case, remember your Helpline exists). Use frontline managers and supervisors to assist in this communication; think about a compliance champion program across the organization; share stories (anonymized of course) of previous reports, how they were handled, and the outcome. Whatever you decide, plan ahead and get company buy-in to be consistent and supportive of the new Helpline.
What are innovative ways to get engagement during launch and beyond?
QR Codes are a great way to gain easy, constant, and targeted engagement with your portal, Helpline, or policies. Whether you present it on a wallet card, cell phone background, or on the factory floor, allowing ease of access to your program homepage or key policies is key. The less friction the better! But remember, think about both a private and public experience that allows employees to consume the QR Code in a space where they are comfortable as they may be grappling with a serious issue.
Also, go back to you branding! If you have created a memorable brand, keep reminding people of it and get creative! Think of songs and sayings that people can associate positively with your program—it helps them remember it when they need it.
How can I build a speak up culture and improve reporting rates?
Concerned that your reporting rates are not what they should be? Think your workforce may be afraid of retaliation?
Download Convercent’s “6 Key Steps to Raising Hotline Awareness and Improving Reporting Rates” eBook and learn to raise awareness and overcome reporting reluctance.
Additional information here.