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Want Strong Controls? Start With Respect

Jason Mefford | August 16, 2011

My experience over the last several years in corporate governance and internal audit finds that developing a culture of respect in the workplace is critical for a strong control environment. You can even find that expressed right in the COSO Internal Control Framework: “Control environment factors include the integrity, ethical values, and competence of the entity's people; [and] management's philosophy and operating style.” A workplace with a philosophy and operating style of integrity and ethical values is based on a foundation of respect.

So how can companies assess the level of respect within the organization? One of the most effective and easiest tools to use is an annual employee survey. Here are a few points to consider in using employee surveys.

First, all employees should be encouraged to participate in the employee survey, but not mandated—so the participation rate itself can be one of the metrics studied. A low participation rate can...

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