Johnson Matthey - Communicating Compliance, Generating Policy Awareness

What is compliance, what are the key policies, and how can we, as employees, help protect the company reputation and enhance business performance? These are the issues that Johnson Matthey, a speciality chemicals company, needed to communicate and raise awareness of amongst its employees globally. In this case study we look at how Johnson Matthey undertook a group-wide training initiative to focus management on compliance issues and to improve understanding of the role they play in enhancing compliance and minimising business risk.

STAGE 1 - Scoping, Developing and Delivering Compliance Workshops for Managers

Compliance policy awareness - getting buy-in from the top

Johnson Matthey had a clear objective: to target senior level management and get their buy-in to compliance. The aim was to ensure that all managers understood why compliance was important to Johnson Matthey and to raise awareness of the key role managers play in minimising business risk in their day-to-day work. To achieve this, Johnson Matthey embarked on a year-long communication initiative to deliver compliance awareness workshops for approximately 200 managers globally. Given the scale of the project, Johnson Matthey decided to appoint an external company to scope, develop and deliver the workshops. After approaching a select number of companies, Johnson Matthey chose to partner with SAI Global.

Scoping Compliance Training - what to cover?

From the outset, one of the key challenges facing Johnson Matthey was that of prioritising the content to be covered in the compliance awareness workshops. Compliance at Johnson Matthey addresses a wide range of Code of Conduct issues from diversity and health & safety to information security and competition law. As with many global organisations, the company has a large amount of internal material relating to compliance. SAI Global worked closely with Johnson Matthey to produce a comprehensive learning outline. This set out the key objectives for training and scoped the main compliance topics to be covered. These were broken down into six clearly defined areas and workshop sessions were designed to focus on each one in detail giving practical examples and scenarios based on day-to-day issues that managers typically encounter.


We had a large volume of policy, and local staff handbooks and compliance reporting documents. Dealing with the complexity and quantity of potential content was a key issue... The workshops made it possible to deal with some potentially very dry and uninteresting topics in an engaging way which was very important in ensuring the workshops were a success.

Senior Training Manager

The right balance of information vs interaction


When training a specific group like managers it is essential to understand their needs and strike the right balance between information and interaction. The workshops achieved this by delivering key information in an engaging and meaningful way, whilst providing managers with the opportunity to interact and share experiences with each other.


A focus on the objectives - making it clear


Early on in the workshop sessions, delegates were introduced to the compliance awareness cycle. This turned out to be an essential part of the training process as it helped managers develop a clear understanding of what policies are, how they work and how they apply to them as individuals. Managers could see how they become an important part of the process, in promoting and enhancing compliance - and helping to generate a culture of compliance organisation-wide. This succeeded in getting managers 'on board' with compliance policy awareness initiatives from the outset.


Setting the right tone and direction


The awareness workshops were not just about delivering key policy information in a meaningful and engaging way, but also about getting managers to think on their feet about compliance issues. This is an important part of Johnson Matthey's culture and instilling this within the training was essential. A dedicated part of the awareness workshops focused on examining high-profile compliance cases at other organisations and the negative consequences that followed. Managers were also given the opportunity to discuss compliance issues at Johnson Matthey, which provided real insights into compliance and how it can be applied to the business. Delegates were also asked to bring success stories along to share with the group. This information sharing proved to be invaluable and helped individuals capture the real benefits of compliance.


“One story that rang bells was about using a roundabout approach, rather than expecting traffic lights. At a roundabout, you are aware of the traffic around you and you make your own decision on when to go. In the workshops we were encouraging people to think for themselves, rather than telling them what to do.”


Training the policy makers…


The Chief Executive's Committee at Johnson Matthey were keen to be involved with the compliance policy awareness initiatives and wanted to get a flavour of the workshops that were being rolled out. Therefore, a specific workshop was developed and delivered for Committee members. The session was a success with the Committee finding the workshops to be extremely beneficial. Getting the buy-in to compliance awareness initiatives at Committee level was a great achievement - and one that reinforced Johnson Matthey's commitment to 'setting the tone at the top' for compliance.


…the pacing and appropriateness for this audience group was very, very good. And it was great to get positive feedback - especially from the top team.

Senior Training Manager

STAGE 2 - Delivering Online Compliance Policy Awareness Training


As a result of the success of the workshops, it was decided that awareness training should be rolled out to additional senior management and key employees across the business. This involved training approximately 400 staff in over 30 locations worldwide. Given these numbers, it would be impractical and costly to implement further workshops. Therefore, Johnson Matthey decided that an online learning approach would provide a more flexible way to deliver training.


SAI Global worked closely with Johnson Matthey to transform the content from the workshops into a format appropriate for online delivery. The content was brought to life using a wide range of graphics, interactions, quizzes and case studies - helping to make key compliance information both engaging and memorable.


Johnson Matthey is pleased with the outcome. The online policy awareness programme was well received and take up rates demonstrate its success. Over 80% of employees have now completed the awareness training, with the remaining 20% expected to complete training on target.


Comments that we have had have been very positive – more positive than I would have expected. It was bridging a gap in the way the subjects were tackled and employees liked the interactions elements. It exceeded expectations for achieving policy understanding and acceptance from employees.

Senior Training Manager

Key Successes 


Reinforced senior level commitment - generating a 'tone at the top' approach to compliance.


Presented issues that were increasingly important for the company.


Able to catch the flavour of key compliance issues and communicate them appropriately to managers.


Tackled potentially dry and uninteresting topics in a very engaging way.


Very successful in providing the time that managers needed to equip themselves in thinking these issues through on a day-to-day basis.


Prepared managers for taking action.   

Key Considerations


Very valuable to talk about success stories - helps build momentum.


Don't go into too much detail - refine your content.


Get contributions from attendees - generate interaction and discussion.


Understand your audience - make content appropriate and relevant for maximum effectiveness.


Conduct a thorough Training Needs Analysis (TNA) to determine the objectives and key content areas.