Wells Fargo has been making recent headlines for a scandal involving many of its employees. Many customers were furious to discover that they had been set up with phony bank accounts and fake credit cards by the bank. Approximately 5,300 employees were to blame, according to sources. The employees set up the accounts so they could reach sales goals and receive incentives that Wells Fargo offered for achieving their numbers. The bank was fined $185 million for these unethical actions.
Occurrences such as these – all too common in today’s culture – can be eliminated by building a strong culture of integrity within a business. This is more than just avoiding doing things that are wrong; it is actively searching for ways to make a positive impact and build an organization that is bigger than just business and money. An article, The Integrity Based Business, reveals an interesting discussion that the author had with a CEO about reforming the integrity of his company. After discussing ways in which he could build an integrity based business, the CEO said “Now that’s the kind of company I want to lead, work for, and buy from.” Don’t we all want to say the same about the company we work for? All companies, regardless of industry, are capable of making these changes and becoming integrity-based businesses. Many improvements can be made primarily by enhancing a company’s:
- Integrity of Mission/Vision – Creating more than just a product, taking pride in quality of product/service, having a positive impact on society
- Integrity of Team Members/Functions – Employees work together, work ethically, and give their best to contribute to the overall success of the company
A company culture of integrity creates an atmosphere of happiness, prosperity, and success. At GWAVA we understand that and it is a main focus of our unified archiving tool, Retain. Its vision is to make honest, and integrity-based decisions the daily standard for any business. By using Retain, companies show their character through promoting a policy of transparency and accountability. They show their intentions to comply with all regulations, whether or not they are involved in litigation. Furthermore, If they are involved in any court cases, they will be more than ready to prove their compliance using Retain’s tools for searching and producing needed electronic documents.
For example, many of our customers operate in the highly regulated finance industry. Scared by the scandals that have been in the news in recent years, the public has a hard time rebuilding trust with companies in the industry. Regulators such as FINRA and the SEC have imposed regulations to avoid more incidents and restore public trust. Any organization that makes the decision to use Retain is clearly proclaiming its decision to comply with all of these regulations. The same goes for companies in other highly regulated industries such as government and healthcare.
Retain also promotes integrity at an individual level. Employees can be tempted by many different situations. Under the pressure of goals and benchmarks that set for them to reach, and tempted by a lack accountability for and monitoring of their actions, even honest and trustworthy employees could act out of character. The key to avoiding this is to take away the temptation to act unethically. Retain creates an environment where all communication can be monitored if necessary, and will hold every employee accountable for their actions. Having this in mind, employees will be inspired to always be their best self.
Far from suggesting that employees need “babysitting” in order to act ethically, we have developed Retain as a tool that helps keep honest people honest. Use a pickup truck carrying valuable materials, as an analogy. Many pickup trucks are covered by soft covers that don’t lock, and really wouldn’t deter anyone who is determined to steal the contents inside. What it does do, however, is remove any urge to act unethically from normal, honest people who walk by. Anyone who sees valuable materials in the open and easy to take might be tempted. By covering them, the temptation is removed. This way, only people who are actively looking to steal would do so. Retain does this same thing. It will help keep communications ethical by documenting and storing them in a place where they could be reviewed in the future. People will naturally maintain a higher standard of communication when they know this. This helps to solve problems such as insider trading, harassment, data leakage, or sharing of proprietary or sensitive information. Furthermore, all records stored in the archive are protected from any tampering, and any changes that are made will be timestamped and “fingerprinted” to prevent any unethical activity once they have been stored.
Becoming a business of integrity is a process, and there are no shortcuts to achieving these high value goals. They must be reached step by step and over time. Investing in a Retain archive is one of those steps. It creates a strong foundation in any organization. What investment could be more valuable than investing in your own company’s integrity? Archiving software is a unique solution that allows you to do so. Not to mention that it will improve productivity in your IT staff, help you avoid any fines for lack of compliance, and will remove the burden of carrying thousands of emails from your email client. Retain is one of the most valuable investments any company can make.