Delta Galil is a global employer, with employees in various locations around the world. This poses unique challenges, but also unique opportunities. One of the topics at the forefront of everyday operations is ethics, ensuring proper conduct within the company as well as outwards – when working with clients and suppliers. True to the company’s tradition of innovation, this approach is being applied to the field of Ethics as well.
We had a chat with Harel Sobovitz, Internal Auditor and the appointed Ethics coordinator in Delta Galil, about the new direction Delta is taking and its results.
“During 2016 we composed the new Ethical Code of the company, and one of the things we wanted to do is transform Ethics from an obscure topic, detached from everyday operations, to a continuous process involving our employees” says Harel. “Our idea was to create a connection between Ethics, a concept that could be very vague at times, to our people- the various employees at Delta who have different occupations and come from many different places.”
How do you introduce innovation to corporate Ethics?
“We wanted to establish a connection, an interaction between our employees and our ethical code. Our goal was to bring ethics “down to earth” and make it more tangible and real for our employees. This applies of course both internally and externally – ethics is part of everything. It is ever present in our conduct amongst ourselves as well as between us and our stake holders.
To achieve that we created an internal forum, a “think tank” of sorts, taking an active part in the development and integration of our Ethical Code and ethical conduct in the company. This group is our Forum of Ethics Trustees, with 14 participants appointed from within the company. We chose representatives with the potential to influence their surroundings, low and mid level management. Also, our Trustees are chosen from many different departments and occupations, so that we could get a wide perspective from every corner of Delta Galil.”
What were the results of this change?
“We defined 3 principal goals for the Forum of Ethics Trustees: 1. Increasing awareness to ethical conduct in everyday operations 2. Identifying and solving ethical dilemmas in the workplace 3. Exposing our Ethical Code to all employees.
The forum meets 3-4 times a year, and discusses a wide range of topics. We analyze case studies, hear from guest speakers and work together to examine everyday conduct and its ethical aspects. In addition, we also participated in composing the Ethical Code of the company that is available publicly through our online platforms”.
Delta Galil is a global company. How do you measure success on such a scale?
“The challenge is not simple. Ethics have no metrics, we cannot set specific measurable targets to our progress. But that is also part of the point. Ethical conduct is a process, a constant component of our relationships and cooperation in business and the workplace. Ethics and ethical conduct is part of every task, every aspect of any job. We put an emphasis on the supply chain, ensuring our ethical principals are maintained throughout the various parts.”
What is the next step?
“We have big plans for 2017, as well as ongoing programs. We have developed a computer software to introduce ethics, and ethical principals, to our employees. Through examples, hypothetical situations and questions we want our employees to learn more, and recognize ethical issues concerning their work and workplace relationships. We plan to introduce this program to all our sites eventually, starting with the US later this year.
Also, we plan on having a seminar for the executive management of the company on current ethical issues and the implementation of ethics company-wide.”
Proving that corporate spirit is not just a slogan, Delta Galil is taking on a challenge that has no endpoint. By launching this process with participants from all levels, each and every member of Delta Galil is taking a stand and affirming the company wide commitment to ethical conduct that starts from within.