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Why and How This Toolkit Was Created

by Suzanne Matthiessen and Kalwant Kaur, Toolkit Site Co-creators

In the autumn of 2020 when it was abundantly obvious the global COVID pandemic was having wide-ranging impacts on organizations of all sizes as well as their employees and stakeholders, the Ethics and Compliance Initiative established a Working Group to research and produce a White Paper titled Positioning Ethics and Compliance as a Strategic Leader in Times of Stress or Crisis.


Our Working Group was initially spilt into two subgroups focused upon researching both Internal and External factors. As contributing team members who both have extensive experience in the area of educating about the adverse impacts of chronic stress and pressure on individuals, teams, leadership, and overall workplace culture, we proposed that unaddressed/improperly addressed workplace stress creates an ethical risk to any organization. The pandemic brought to light the toll it was having upon individual mental health, and it was imperative that the harmful effects of chronic high-level stress be a component of our project in the form of a learning resources Toolkit.

However, it became clear early on that including this information in the White Paper would make it unwieldily in both size and scope. Our Working Group Team then proposed to ECI that we create a companion Toolkit website that would provide comprehensive information about stress, pressure, anxiety, and burnout, as well as recommending a "whole systems" approach to teach E&C professionals how to address root causes of workplace stress and pressure.

While we worked within our individual subgroups to produce the White Paper, we slowly also built the Toolkit Site to provide a roadmap for how E&C professionals can truly be Strategic Leaders in Times of Stress or Crisis. In a mutual decision, instead of taking ownership of the Site, ECI gave full control of the Toolkit to us while offering their full support. We have committed to keeping this site fresh and timely. Additionally, our fellow Working Group team members have been nothing short of extraordinary in their pledge to continue to advance the work we have done collectively.


We both consider the professional training and advising work we do in this area as essential in these times of ongoing need for this knowledge and these skills, and are grateful this Toolkit can reach both individuals and organizations who can benefit from what is truly a labor of love and a service for everyone working in Ethics and Compliance - and all our fellow human beings.


How to get the most benefit from this Toolkit

The Mission of this Toolkit is to provide both scientific and anecdotal evidence of effective methods  that can help mitigate the adverse impacts and risks of improperly addressed workplace stress and pressure.


However, raising awareness of the issues surrounding both the Ethics and Compliance and health risks brought on by improperly addressed chronic workplace stress alone is simply not enough.


Tools can't do anything sitting in a Toolbox except get rusty and dull.

Nothing changes if we don't also do our part.

Corresponding actions must consistently support and advance newly learned insights,
and the skills, tools, systems and processes required to foster and strengthen sustainable stress and change Readiness, Responsiveness and Resiliency behavioral habits that can foster and strengthen a culture of integrity and stakeholder well-being is not just a "one and done" effort.

These two icons highlight specific areas of Awareness + Action:


Applying the Tools


Learning & Growth Mindset 

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