Teradata Tackles Compliance Training Needs with EVERFI
Keeping up with the compliance needs of today’s organizations—especially with employees dispersed across multiple jurisdictions, often internationally—can be a significant burden. Armed with access to the right technology solutions, though, companies and their compliance leaders are finding that solutions can be just a few keystrokes away.
That’s the case for Teradata, a software provider with about 10,000 employees dispersed globally across more than 40 countries who are responsible for working with clients in more than 75 countries to provide accurate, responsive database and analytics-related services.
The Senior Legal Counsel for Ethics, Compliance and Employment Law at Teradata, Shannon Sorrells, says: “As you could imagine, our biggest challenge in training is developing course content that is appropriate for a global audience.” Today’s business needs are rapidly evolving, she says, and as a result, Teradata’s footprint is becoming increasingly more global.
“We’re really trying to reach everybody with content that is appropriate in different countries,” says Shannon Sorrells, Senior Legal Counsel for Ethics, Compliance and Employment Law at Teradata.
Teradata already had a solid foundation in place to support a respectful culture, especially in the U.S. As one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, for the tenth year in a row, Teradata determined that with a change in societal norms and their growing, global workforce, they needed a new way to demonstrate measurable results in meaningful ways that meet the needs of the organization, its employees, investors, and clients. They needed an external solution to provide quality training at scale.
Their ethics and compliance function, responsible for company policies, awareness and communication around ethics, and business conduct, has been expanding to take on some tasks and topics formerly in the domain of human resources—anti-harassment, for instance. “It could have a home in either place,” Sorrells says, but “we see it as part of our ethics and compliance program and part of our strategy in terms of setting the tone for what appropriate behavior is and what we expect from our colleagues.”
Teradata takes compliance seriously and has established the structure to support consistent training and messaging throughout the organization. Their Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer reports directly to the board of directors and oversees the ethics and compliance department. And, says Sorrells, “we definitely have support from the executive team members.”
Support from the top of the organization down is also a critical element in building a positive and respectful culture.
Focus on Culture
Teradata has been doing anti-harassment training in the U.S., but is now rolling training out globally to ensure a shared vision and shared culture throughout the entire organization. “We have a certain standard of conduct that is greater than what the law requires, greater than what custom requires,” says Sorrells. “We want to make sure that everybody, globally, understands that. We want everybody aligned on the same conduct standards.”
EVERFI Solutions Stand Out
Sorrells said that she was looking for course content that was “more modern” and more directed to a younger employee demographic than what was typically available. “Yes, we still need to address some of the ‘old school’ ideas of harassment, but there are more subtle things to be talked about now, and in a modern way, using the vernacular that younger employees would understand,” she says. “It needs to be part of the current dialogue.” That includes addressing concepts like employees’ roles as active bystanders, unconscious or implied bias, and an approach more focused on creating a positive and supportive culture than teaching employees about the legal issues related to harassment.
In addition, Sorrells said, the solution needed to be something that could be readily rolled out to a global workforce. “It needed to be culturally sensitive and appropriate for those audiences,” she says. And, she adds, she was looking for a “one-stop solution” that would do the heavy lifting of actually creating and providing the content versus requiring her and her team to patch together information from a library of content. EVERFI, she says, provided the solutions she was looking for.
“What I really, really liked about EVERFI immediately is that they have a library that specifically addresses the issue,” she says. “It made the purchasing decision really easy.”
She demoed the product before making the purchase and says she immediately liked the “look and feel” of the material—it was modern and engaging and even such details as the font and the look and feel of the video vignettes stood out.
A Process, Not an Event
Sorrells and Teradata understand that ensuring a positive and respectful culture doesn’t occur through a “one and done” training event. Instead, such a culture is supported through ongoing education, communication, support, and role modeling.
“Messages from our leaders support the training and set the tone,” says Sorrells. “We’re trying to take a positive spin and approach with this—not a ‘hey don’t harass people!’ It’s more about being respectful and professional and arming employees with tools to help them know how to identify misconduct and how to respond. We’re really trying to put a message of empowerment out to our employees.”
The process will also involve considerations of how to best measure the impact of training and communication efforts. The first year, says Sorrells, will be focused on learning from the rollout. It’s an iterative approach, she says, that will help the company identify areas of potential improvement as well as best practices.
And the impact of Teradata’s training goes beyond the immediacy of the global rollout to their workforce—it has a lasting effect upon the entire Teradata environment. Sorrells says,
“I’m really excited about the platform that we have in the ethics and compliance department to help move the dial on the culture, help influence the discussion and behavior around culture, and how people feel at the workplace.”