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Category: Compliance Training

Nomination Title: Ethics Compliance Training - 100% Made for Employee-Owners, by Employee-Owners



Since 2018, AMERICAN SYSTEMS has released sets of quarterly video- based lessons to our employee- owners as part of our annual Ethics Compliance Training Program. For this nomination, we are nominating our April 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 curriculum.

As a 100% employee- owned government contractor, AMERICAN SYSTEMS has a strong ethics- based culture. It’s vital that our decentralized population of 1,450 employee- owners understand the importance of ethics when doing business with the government – and we need to trust that our employee- owners will make the right decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas. Ethics compliance for a government contractor covers a significant number of topics— from accurate time card reporting, to accepting gifts—and we continuously work on employee training so our team understands their important responsibilities.

To ensure our employee- owners know how to handle different ethical dilemmas, we require our employees to complete an annual Ethics Compliance Training Program. This program consists of reviewing our Code of Business Ethics & Conduct policy annually and viewing four interactive video- based lessons that are released quarterly. The video- based lessons are themed to popular TV shows and movies to highlight different ethical scenarios that our employee- owners may encounter in an entertaining and educational manner.

These videos are the most unique part of our training curriculum. They are 100% Made for Employee- Owners, by Employee- Owners. Our employee- owners not only write the scripts, but they also star in and produce the video training. In our 2019 production curriculum, our employee crew traveled to different work locations so we could feature employee- owners across the country.

Our video- based training typically includes one or two questions at a decision point of the story to test the knowledge of our employee- owners. We do not penalize employee- owners for getting answers wrong, instead we opt to use the data we receive to understand where our weak points are and where we may need to focus future training.

The video training has been a huge success in not only the effectiveness of our training, but also in the sense of community it has cultivated. Our employee training completion times have increased significantly.

Ethics Compliance training was once a burden for employees, but it has become a “favorite” activity that is often voluntarily repeated! Employees are asking to participate in these videos and some have even expressed interest in helping develop the curriculum.

Before AMERICAN SYSTEMS began creating our own video- based lessons, we purchased training from an outside organization. These were costly and were not tailored to the unique requirements and nuances that we wanted to highlight in our own training. Our employees were not interested in taking this training (well, they hated it) and it was common for employees to wait until the final week to complete their training. It was so very painful to get 100% of our employees to complete their required Ethics Compliance training.

Almost immediately after we released our first “Made for Employee- Owners, by Employee- Owners” Ethics Compliance training, our engagement skyrocketed.

The feedback we received from our employee- owners is the real homerun. We are not professional videographers or actors, and our productions are not always the smoothest – but they are memorable for our employees. Since involving more offices in the production of our training, we receive unsolicited requests to participate as actors, offers to help develop the scripts, and suggestions for topics to cover.

Our employee- owners are actively discussing Ethics Compliance throughout the year with each other. This, combined with the statistics we are seeing, gives us confidence that our employee- owners know what to do when faced with ethical dilemmas. We know what’s at stake.®

Ethics Recap/Terry Tate:
This set of lessons recaps several different topics that we have previously covered with our employees. With this video was released at the very end of 2019, and we wanted to play on the upcoming Super Bowl by theming our video after the 2003 Reebok Super Bowl commercial featuring Terry Tate: the Office Linebacker.(https://vimeo.com/438349027/16b1c72f1f )

Contract Commitment/Law and Order:
Due to the nature of our business, candidates who are hired to work on government contracts must have exact matches to qualifications listed for a position, unless properly authorized otherwise. In this Ethics Compliance video, we cover this topic to the theme of Law & Order: Special Ethics Unit. (https://vimeo.com/438348860/e61dcca743 )

Invitations v Gifts/Twilight Zone
AMERICAN SYSTEMS employees understand that receiving gifts is generally unallowed as it may be perceived as an attempt to influence decision- making. That does not mean our employees cannot accept invitations to events from vendors or customers if they pay for themselves. We cover the nuance between what is acceptable and what’s unacceptable in this video to the theme of Twilight Zone. (https://vimeo.com/438348580/0f081a0600 )

Reporting Outside Affiliation/Full House:
For this video, we wanted to highlight our new online tool that is available for employees to report Outside Corporate Affiliations. The theme of Full House was chosen because our storyline involves an AMERICAN SYSTEMS employee being asked by a family member to do some work on the side for her business. (https://vimeo.com/438348732/dcab8533f3 )

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