How the 10/5 Rule Can Make You Wildly Effective

How the 10/5 Rule Can Make You Wildly Effective

If you’re ever lucky enough to stay in a Ritz-Carlton hotel, you may think it’s the plush towels and comfy bedding that make the place so special.  While that’s nice, the reason so many people revisit the hotel chain has more to do with service than with swimming pools.  How does the Ritz-Carlton ensure that its service is consistent across the world, and that each of their employees makes people feel good?  Simple - the Ritz-Carlton hotels franchised a policy called the 10/5 Way, which has made all the difference for their brand.

What is the 10/5 Way?

The 10/5 Way is easy.  When a guest is 10 feet from a Ritz employee, the employee is to make eye contact and smile.  When the guest is 5 feet away, the employee is instructed to smile and say “hello.”  Does this make a difference?  Sam Walton of Walmart and the staff at Ochsner Health System knows it does. 

When Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart was in charge, he required his greeters to smile whenever they were within ten feet of a customer.  It was part of what made the company so successful in its rise. People were surprised to be greeted by a person.  When a person feels welcomed and thanked for visiting, they feel important. 

Case Study: Ochsner Health System…

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How to Choose Metrics that Matter Part 6 - Governance and Oversight

How to Choose Metrics that Matter Part 6 - Governance and Oversight

“A focused Board concentrates on strategy, oversight and governance practices, to avoid getting lost in the forest,” said Pearl Zhu, author of the Digital Masters series.  There is much consternation over the role of the Board of Directors/Audit Committee.  Boards are tasked with setting corporate culture and the tone from the top, often without instructions for how to actually do that.  One key way Compliance can help is to provide the Board with useful metrics.  Those metrics should include a mirror of how involved the Board  and Top Management (C-suite) is with Compliance, and how supportive top management has been to the program as a whole.   

In this blog, we’re going to explore metrics relating to the governance and oversight of the program.  This is Part 6 of our series.  If you haven’t read Part 1, I recommend you go back and start there, as it sets the stage regarding why certain metrics should be chosen.  We’ve already explored metrics that can be used with policies and procedures, which can be found HERE, monitoring and auditing, which can be found HERE, training, which can be found HERE, and third-party risk management, which can be found HERE.

What Should We Measure?

When it comes to metrics relating to governance and oversight, there are three separate types of metrics….

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Why What You Call it Matters

Why What You Call it Matters

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” wrote William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet.  If a rose were called a Lungwort* or Toad Lily*, it might smell the same, but wouldn’t evoke the same sense of romance.  Words evoke emotions.  What you call something matters.  That’s true in love and also in compliance.

Sometimes we unwittingly use words that turn off our audience.  We might use words that are common in our industry, but don’t resonate with our business colleagues or stakeholders.  Depending on your company culture, you may consider swapping out one of the following terms for something more user-friendly.

“Conflicts of Interest”

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “conflict” as “an active disagreement between people with opposing opinions or principles.”  Sometimes “conflict” is used as a euphemism for “war.”  Conflict is definitely not a friendly word.  In fact, the requirement to “declare” a conflict may, in and of itself, make many people uncomfortable. 

What might work better?  A friend of mine ran a compliance program for a multi-national company with over 20,000 employees.  Year after year, only about 30 conflicts of interest were registered.  When polling employees, she found that the word “conflict” evoked negative connotations.  She changed the name to “Declaration of Relationships.”  Even though the process was the same, reporting improved dramatically.

“Code”…

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The Definitive Guide to Gifts, Entertainment, Charitable Contributions, and Third-Party Travel Policies, Part II

The Definitive Guide to Gifts, Entertainment, Charitable Contributions, and Third-Party Travel Policies, Part II

“But I consider the client a friend, and I’ve been giving him gifts paid for by the company for ten years now.  I have to, or we might lose his business. The whole industry gives these kinds of gifts.  This limit for reimbursement is ridiculous!”  The foregoing conversation is a real one that I had with a sales manager.  Details have been changed to protect the clueless.

 We all know that we need a good gifts and charitable donations policy.  Many of the highest profile bribery prosecutions, in the U.S. and abroad have dealt with gifts, hospitality, third-party travel, and charitable contributions violations.  Excessive gifts or charitable contributions meant to influence a decision-maker for an unfair business advantage can cause havoc, as well as violations of the FCPA, UK Bribery Act, and local law. 

 Many compliance officers struggle when putting together a gifts and charitable donations policy.  What are best practices?  What is normal?  What is excessive?  And most importantly, what is defensible to a prosecutor? 

 We at Spark Compliance have researched this issue often.  We constantly give advice and write such policies for our clients.  To help you with this task, we’ve compiled benchmarking and best practices for gifts and charitable donations.  Previously we wrote about best practices relating to entertainment and third-party travel policies.  You can read that post HERE.

 Benchmarking Your Gifts Policy

Many companies set the threshold amount for gifts at $50.00.  A survey of Fortune 500 companies showed that more than 90 percent of the respondents set gift limits at $250 or less, with more than 65 percent reporting gift limits of $100 or less.

 Additionally, in most companies with which we have consulted, pre-approval by compliance or legal is required for all gifts to government officials. 

 In many companies, Internal Audit performs spot-checks of gifts receipts to ensure the process was properly followed. 

Best Practices for Gifts Policies…

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The Definitive Guide to Gifts, Entertainment, Charitable Contributions, and Third-Party Travel Policies, Part I

The Definitive Guide to Gifts, Entertainment, Charitable Contributions, and Third-Party Travel Policies, Part I

“But I want to send my wife to the Manolo Blahnik launch party in Barcelona. What’s the big deal - I’ve gone every year?  Yes, this year I’ll be in Africa on business at the time, but since it has a plus-one, so this time my wife can take my daughter. I don’t understand the problem.”  The foregoing conversation is a real one that I had with a CEO.  Details have been changed to protect the clueless.

We all know that we need a hospitality and third-party travel policy.  Many of the highest profile bribery prosecutions, in the U.S. and abroad have dealt with gifts, hospitality, third-party travel, and charitable contributions violations.  Excessive hospitality, gifts or charitable contributions meant to influence a decision-maker for an unfair business advantage can cause havoc, as well as violations of the FCPA, UK Bribery Act, and local law.

Many compliance officers struggle when putting together an entertainment and third-party travel policy.  What are best practices?  What is normal?  What is excessive?  And most importantly, what is defensible to a prosecutor? 

We at Spark Compliance have researched this issue often.  We constantly give advice and write such policies for our clients.  To help you with this task, we’ve created the definitive guide to gifts, entertainment, charitable contributions, and third-party travel policies.  This is the first of two posts – this one on benchmarking and best practices for entertainment and third-party travel policies. 

Benchmarking your Entertainment and Third-Party Travel Policy

A survey of Fortune 500 companies showed that more than 80 percent of respondents have spending limits of $250 or less for entertainment or hospitality, with approximately 35 percent of respondents limiting entertainment expenses to less than $100.

The vast majority of our clients have spending limits of $100 or $150 for hospitality to non-governmental officials.  In many companies, Internal Audit performs spot-checks of hospitality and third-party travel receipts to ensure the process was properly followed. 

Best Practices for Hospitality and Travel Policies…

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