Compliance has evolved from a simple checkbox exercise to a more intricate process. The constant evolution of rules, regulations, requirements, and recommendations demands unwavering attention from management and the entire organization.
However, this is easier said than done.
Systems, strategies and processes are not enough. All employees must engage and comprehend the significance of compliance actively. This places responsibilities on management and internal communication to foster an environment conducive to a cultural shift, where compliance becomes an integral aspect of daily routines.
Compliance and Culture: Technology, Processes, and People
A robust compliance culture comprises three equally crucial components: technology, processes, and people. While the first two elements are relatively straightforward, the final element, people, demands significant effort from management. Therefore, we will provide a brief overview of technology and processes and then delve deeper into the responsibilities of management in fostering a culture of compliance among employees.
Technology and Processes
Regardless of perspective, no employee desires their workload to become more challenging. It is essential to understand that fostering a successful compliance culture primarily hinges on effective tools, user-friendly and intuitive systems, optimizing workflows and saving time instead of stealing it.
Furthermore, there should be well-defined work guidelines specifying the respective roles and responsibilities, as well as the timing and, crucially, the methods of execution. At the same time, all individuals must be aware of the appropriate channels to address any challenges or errors that may arise.
Building a Strong Compliance Culture: The Crucial Influence of People and Effective Management
As previously stated, technology and well-defined processes are the foundation of a robust compliance culture. However, it all depends on the people working in the organization. It is they who shape and uphold the culture.
Yet, it is management that paves the way.
You need to clarify its true meaning to ensure a clear understanding of your compliance culture. It would help if you established the direction and tone to communicate this message to everyone effectively. You may find it helpful to consider the following questions:
- Why is compliance important to your organization?
- How does compliance benefit the organization's partners?
- How can you work together to achieve compliance?
As previously mentioned, this work needs to be carried out at the top level and involving other managers early on. Involving them early on is crucial in fostering inclusion, commitment, and ownership, which is essential to spreading the desired culture among employees.
If managers in individual departments are too occupied to participate, you might consider choosing or recruiting a compliance officer to assume the lead role. To effectively establish a positive culture across departments, it is crucial that employees do not perceive it as an extra burden. Rather, they need to experience the benefits as soon as possible, thereby understanding the necessity of compliance.
Patience is Necessary for Change
Cultural change does not occur overnight; therefore, organizations must be patient. Not everyone embraces change readily, making the aforementioned approach crucial. When the employees understand the significance of compliance and experience its benefits firsthand, integrating the culture becomes a smoother process.
The significance of good communication cannot be overstated.
To create a robust compliance culture, it is essential to foster openness and honesty. Moreover, speaking positively about the implemented changes, acknowledging and commending the commendable efforts of both teams and individuals and identifying appropriate tools to simplify and streamline compliance work is crucial. By doing this, you will make significant progress towards a strong culture of compliance, which is the key to establishing a successful program.