Compliance requirements continue to evolve, making it increasingly difficult to define roles and responsibilities within organizations. Unfortunately, it’s often unclear who is responsible for culture, ethics and corporate policy management. And although determining who is responsible is challenging, it is crucial for successful compliance management in an organization.
For instance, as more companies work to build a culture of compliance, compliance officers are more likely to be independent of the legal department than they were even five years ago. That independence makes compliance management efforts more successful, but it requires a culture of cooperation in which legal and compliance work well together and are not in contention.
Most responsible for culture, though, is the Executive Team and Board of Directors. “Tone from the top” is vital for an ethical company culture. This is where workforce education comes in to play, especially as many industries face increased regulatory scrutiny. For example, in the healthcare industry, training the Board of Directors is increasingly important for compliance management efforts. Building training and compliance management programs and educating stakeholders helps to reduce an organization’s overall risk.
Just as important as “tone from the top” is “tone in the middle” where organizations begin to enable middle managers to be compliance advocates. When it comes to other concerns, such as cybersecurity and rapid change in the business environments, middle managers are the ones that are engaging with the workforce and can be the biggest influencers. Examining the organizational structure and adopting compliance management programs can help companies to cope with these and other challenges.
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