Building better culture and compliance with trust | Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA)

Ethikos newsletter (July – Sept 2022)

Effective compliance and ethics programs have become goals of companies and organizations worldwide. Reaching this objective is possible, but it cannot be achieved without a culture built on trust. Building it does not come from “one and done” webinars or trainings. It comes from doing the work—actively, consciously, and continuously. “Success at its core always comes as a benefit of being trusted.”[1] It’s easy to place blame for an ineffective program on issues related to leadership, communication, or resources, rather than looking at low-trust culture. Trust is the fundamental building block for success. High-trust culture leads to organizational success on many fronts, including compliance and ethics.

A few years ago, attorney Thomas Fox offered this observation: “It all starts with trust, but once you achieve trust, you can move forward to affect the change you need to generate to achieve an effective compliance program going forward.”[2] Without trust, implementation and maintenance of an effective program may be only a strategic idea without ability for execution.

1 David Horsager, Trusted Leader: 8 Pillars That Drive Results (Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2021).
2 Thomas Fox, “Creating Trust to Affect Compliance Change,” Corporate Compliance Insights, October 2, 2015,
3 U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Criminal Div., Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (Updated June 2020),
4 Trust Edge Leadership Institute, “2022 Trust Outlook: A Global Research Study,” accessed May 27, 2022, 20–21,
5 Dori Meinert, “Why Trust Matters at Work,” Society for Human Resource Management, May 24, 2018,
6 Trust Edge Leadership Institute, “2022 Trust Outlook,” 6.
7 David Qu, “How to Promote Team Trust and Employee Engagement,” Forbes, June 9, 2021,
8 Paul J. Zak, “The Neuroscience of Trust,” Harvard Business Review (January-February 2017),
9 Horst Schulze, Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019).

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