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ECEC Award 2021: Where Europe’s greatest compliance projects find recognition

The ECEC Award 2021 was awarded to the French start-up Cuidam for their app addressing workplace harassment.

Megha Varier Megha Varier

    The presentation of ECEC Award is an integral part of the European Compliance and Ethics Conference (ECEC). In its second edition held on the 6th and 7th of October, the prestigious ECEC Award honoring remarkable ethics and compliance efforts went to the French start-up Cuidam for their whistleblowing app solution.  

    Cuidam is a French start-up that introduced the innovative whistleblowing app that addresses workplace harassment. The app makes it possible for employees to report instances of mistreatment and make sure that they get the proper attention it deserves. The tool also lets companies prevent unethical behaviors by making awareness-generating material available to both the employer and the employees.  

    ECEC Award 2021

    This year, the ECEC Award saw as many as 10 applications from companies from all over Europe, who sent in their newly launched or on-going compliance and ethics projects. From International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to electric utility company EON to Volkswagen and Siemens, we had a line-up of extremely well deserving projects, that made the competition even more compelling.  

    After careful consideration, Sprint leading to new learning approach, an initiative by Siemens AG, Leadership, Diversity and Integrity campaign by Sika AG and the whistleblowing app by Cuidam made it to the top three. The jury members chose the projects that were the most innovative, inspiring, operational, empowering, and not only rule-based but also value-based initiatives. The companies then had the opportunity to present their initiatives to the live audience at the ECEC conference, after which, the audience chose Cuidam as the winner through a live voting.  

    Reacting to the win, Cuidam’s co-founder Liam Donne said: “On behalf of the whole Cuidam team, we’d like to thank the jury and all the live voters for this award. We hope our platform helps those in need and enables companies to evolve positively, in a benevolent and ethical way.” 

    Cuidam

    Started in January 2021, Cuidam whistleblowing app makes it easier for employees to bring unethical behaviour to the employer’s notice promptly and effectively. With the platform, companies can collect alerts from within their organisation and further prevent harassment. 

    The app that is designed in collaboration with professionals, is based on real life testimonies to create the most intuitive and human-like platform. Cuidam incorporates experts in law and occupational psychology to their function, to better understand the issues of their users. 

    In the event of an employee facing harassment in a professional environment – be it moral, sexual, physical, discriminatory, cyber – Cuidam enables them to promptly report the event. With a focus on improving and maintaining the health of employees, this platform ensures that companies as well as its employees have access to preventive information on harassment in the workplace, thereby supporting companies in their internal evolution. The platform allows companies to facilitate the collection of alerts and therefore, save time in the management of cases of aggression within organizations.  

    Interestingly, this was also one of the criteria that moved the jury members in Cuidam’s favour – that the initiative contributes to promoting a positive environment in the workplace. The jury felt that the project focused on a laudable and relevant key area (harassment) and had a solid practitioner input in their foundation. The jury found it commendable that the project not only aims to raise awareness about harassment at workplace, but also provides advice and guidelines on how to handle issues when they are indeed reported.  

    The platform provides:

    • Prevention training directory for employers and/or employees
    • Relevant and targeted articles on well-being at work
    • Smart surveys & polls to measure the good health of the company

    Questions to the winning project

    1. What is the current focus of your work? 

    We’ve recently developed a digital platform that enables companies to get real-time feedback (we call it “the well-being weather”), reserve training sessions on our partner’s directory, and above all, put in relation a harassment advisor with employees suffering or witnessing harassment situations. Also, this last month we’ve decided to open Cuidam to schools (higher education). 

    2. What are the biggest obstacles you have faced since starting Cuidam in January 2021?   

    Obviously, the money is tight in the beginning. We try to make the most with the least. The other thing is, it’s hard selling prevention. Companies have a hard time understanding how much they could save money with investing in prevention. They need to see numbers, but with this type of service, it’s a long-term thing to start seeing results. 

    3. What are some of the learnings from this project? 

    How to talk about delicate topics like harassment. Getting to learn a little more every day on how a company should work, how everything should be organized to offer employees the best, safest, and most more inclusive environment.  

    4. What inspired the launch of Cuidam?  

    Two of us have studied Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in school and company well-being was a big part of what we learned. Also, what inspired us to create Cuidam was our work experiences. Three out of the four Cuidam co-founders have been harassed in their workplaces. The feeling of not being able to do anything and having to deal with it daily is hard on someone. This shared feeling pushed us to create this solution.  

    SPRINT leading to New Learning Approach | Siemens AG

    Another strong contender at the ECEC Award this year was the SPRINT project by the German technology company Siemens. 

    Launched in November 2019, SPRINT is a pioneering compliance training project that employs new strategies to create a new generation of compliance trainings. The mission of the project is to train people to behave right – beyond being aware of rules and regulations.  

    The interactive trainings are designed with the goal to train positive behavior of the relevant target group using short and crisp products, by offering a variety of   modular learning opportunities that support diverse, individual learning styles. 

    The new approach to Compliance training is based on the following ideas:  

    • Focused learning landscape: Differentiate between globally mandatory training and non-mandatory learning material.  
    • Lean training processes: Simple and automate training processes.
    • One target group for globally mandatory trainings: Simplify the target groups of the training. 
    • Focus online: Mandatory training to be done online. 
    • Crystallization of content: Short, crisp, and engaging trainings. 
    • Off-shelf standards:  Faster and more efficient trainings by using proven standards from the market.

    The ECEC Award jury found it commendable that the new training methodology makes integrity a personal obligation through education and strives to achieve this by involving all levels of employees globally.  

    Leadership-Diversity-Integrity Campaign | Sika AG

    What set the Swiss multinational specialty chemical company’s initiative apart from the rest was that the initiative goes beyond rule-based compliance.   

    With the goal to reinforce employees’ commitment to ethical leadership and to strengthen the company’s compliance culture, Sika AG launched a global campaign for all its employees across 100 countries. HR and Corporate Compliance coordinated the promotion of three closely related topics: ethical leadership, diversity, and integrity. The “ethical leadership” stream focused on self-reflection by employees with the goal to inspire leadership. The “diversity” stream trained all members of the HR on how to best avoid biased behaviour and laid out strategies to foster a diverse workforce. The “integrity” stream addressed the topics of anti-bribery & corruption as well as conflict of interests.   

    The jury was of the opinion that the initiative addresses areas that are at the very core of better compliance. The jury also lauded the project’s focus on the role of leadership in driving positive change and the intend to promote shared values among cross-cultural entities​.  

    Megha Varier
    Megha Varier

    Megha is a Content Writer at EQS Group. She previously worked as a journalist, covering various topics including politics, environment, gender and culture.

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