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Compliance at La Poste: MyEtic App & Ethics Barometer

In 2020 the ECEC Award went to France's La Poste Group. Find out more about their two winning projects.

EQS Editorial Team EQS Editorial Team

    In recognition of their commitment to ethics and compliance, La Poste Group was the deserving winner of the ECEC Award at the European Compliance & Ethics Conference (ECEC) in October 2020. The award was given in recognition of two of the postal service’s compliance projects – the Ethics Barometer and the MyEtic App. The ECEC Award jury felt that these initiatives demonstrated the tremendous commitment of La Poste Group to inspiring each and every employee – from postal workers to managers – to uphold the company’s ethical principles and values. With both projects La Poste Group aims to promote increased acceptance of ethical guidelines, to sensibilise all employees to ethical issues and grow awareness of whistleblowing hotlines.

    Don’t miss: European Compliance and Ethics Conference 2021

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    6 & 7 October 2021 // virtual and live from Munich

    Get your ticket for #ECEC2021 now!

    Ethics Barometer

    Since 2013 the Ethics and Compliance department at La Poste Group has carried out an annual survey that examines the ethical climate within French companies. Known as Ethics Barometer, the survey comprises two parts (although both parts feature the same questions) – the first is designed to assess the ethical climate within La Poste Group employees and the second surveys employees of French companies (with 500 employees or more). The aim of the survey is to obtain qualitative and quantitative data on the extent to which employees are informed about their company’s compliance activities and whether they participate in them.

    The survey aims to determine whether there are any problems that the company should address in terms of compliance and ethics and how the company has handled compliance challenges so far. In addition, it aims to find out how employees rate their company’s compliance efforts and how the compliance structure is set up. A further point of assessment is how much employees trust persons responsible and the corresponding structures.

    MyEtic App

    The MyEtic app is a mobile application developed by La Poste Group in 2015 and is aimed at all company employees. The app is designed to increase the visibility of the group’s compliance programme, raise awareness of ethics and compliance issues whilst also preventing corruption. The app features:

    • Compliance and ethics news (in-house and from the daily press)
    • Events and the chance to sign up for these
    • Tribune (communications from the ethics officer)
    • Information (important documents from the Group La Poste, its branches and subsidiaries)
    • Training (staff training opportunities on ethics and compliance)
    • Mobilisation (ads to promote ethics and values in the company)
    • Quiz (questions on topics related to gifts and hospitality, professional confidentiality, fair competition, etc.)
    • Contact (direct ways to contact the Ethics and Compliance department)
    • Alert (La Poste Group’s own whistleblowing hotline)
    • Lexicon (definitions of terms relating to ethics and compliance)
    • Terms & Conditions

     

    With this mobile application, La Poste Group not only meets existing legal requirements (Sapin II), but also offers its employees a comprehensive selection of ethics and compliance information. Since June 2017, the Sapin II Act requires companies in France with 500 or more employees and a turnover of 100 million euros to take a number of measures to combat corruption. These include initiating a training programme for employees exposed to the highest corruption risks and establishing a code of conduct for all employees.

    The MyEtic app is currently used by around 17,000 employees of La Poste Group. The aim is to steadily increase the number of users with the upcoming versions and improvements and make the content even more attractive for all employees.

    Screenshots MyEtic-App

    Four questions to Catherine Coppo, Ethics and Compliance Officer at La Poste Group

    1. What have been the most surprising results of the survey (Ethics Barometer)?

    Catherine Coppo (CC):

    • 84% of respondents believe that their company conducts its business ethically
    • 78% feel affected by actions taken on ethics and compliance
    • 69% were made aware of ethical abuses or compliance-related problems in the last year
    • 70% are aware of the existence of a whistleblowing system (which allows them to seek ethics or compliance advice or report a violation of the company’s code of conduct)
    • 84% would be prepared to blow the whistle if they identified an ethical problem

     

    2. What are the biggest challenges faced by Compliance Officers in France / within La Poste Group?

    CC: The economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to put compliance programmes under great scrutiny, as well as the well-known major risks: fraud, corruption, non-compliance with embargoes, integrity risk in respect of third parties, increasing cyber-attacks and many more.

    Faced with a drastic drop in mail volumes, La Poste Group has put the issue of compliance at the top of our list of concerns in order to protect the development of our new activities which are built on a relationship of trust with our employees, our external stakeholders and especially our customers. As a Compliance Officer responsible for implementing the Sapin II Act, it is important to go beyond regulatory obligations and embed commercial integrity as a core value in the company so that the company remains protected from unethical behaviour. Our approach is based on trust. We trust our employees to speak up, for example through our whistleblowing system.

    The biggest challenge is to convince management, staff and leaders and win their support. It concerns every one of us and we all need to be vigilant and know how to ask ourselves the right questions and have the right standards in mind in order to manage, decide and act within an ethical and legal framework.

    3. What kind of support for compliance work would you like to see?

    CC: Of course, we can always ask for more resources or more tools, but I think that the role of the Compliance Officer is to communicate the importance of the process. For example, in order to strengthen positive communication with our stakeholders, we must be able to explain why it is necessary to assess our suppliers. This promotes business performance and strengthens our procurement. We place great emphasis on raising awareness and training the most at-risk employees and we achieve this through regular communication. We explain many risks using practical examples and provide answers to questions that may arise.

    The more ethically we behave, the greater the trust – this is the driving force behind our customer relationships. On the regulatory side, I think that the Sapin II Act and its requirement to implement a corruption prevention plan has accelerated the changes. They compel us to standardise our procedures. We have seen a similar effect with the quality and CSR requirements in the past.

    4. What will the most important compliance trends be in 2021?

    CC: It is all about developing a culture of compliance and integrity, anchoring ethics as an important intangible value in a company, and both measuring and communicating it. It is a company’s duty to protect itself from unethical behaviour. What is more, integrity must be at the heart of relationships with external stakeholders. For a group such as La Poste, it is also about driving forward the integration of new technologies with trusted tools.

    Contact for the project

    Catherine Coppo | Ethics and Anti-Corruption Compliance Officer for La Poste Group

    Laurence Thierry | Ethics and Anti-Corruption Compliance Responsable for La Poste Group

    About La Poste

    La Poste Group originated in 1477 from the postal relays created by Louis XI to carry royal messages. In 1576, royal messenger offices were added which were authorised to carry private mail.

    For over 250 years, every employee at La Poste has sworn an oath pledging daily integrity: “Whatever my role or activity at La Poste, I swear that I will perform my duties conscientiously, honestly and with integrity”.

    La Poste is now the leading European postal delivery company. La Poste Group also operates the leading local retail network in France and serves 1.3 million customers daily from its 17,000 post offices.

    ECEC Award

    Each year the EQS Group organises the European Compliance & Ethics Conference (ECEC) which features inspiring keynote speeches from leading experts in the fields of ethics and compliance. In 2020, Dan McCrum, Prof. Christian Strenger and Dr Klaus Moosmayer, among others, were met with an enthusiastic audience.

    The highlight of the conference is the presentation of the ECEC Award where an independent jury of experts recognises a company’s outstanding compliance work or an individual’s commitment in the field of ethics and compliance. With this award, the EQS Group aims to increase the visibility of outstanding and innovative compliance projects. This is because: “Compliance departments are a bit like football referees. They are usually only talked about when they make mistakes or when things take a turn in the wrong direction. We are taking a different approach with our Award by recognising excellent and inspiring achievements” says Marcus Sultzer, member of the management board of EQS Group AG.

    Get your ticket for the ECEC 2021 now!

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