Looking Forward To It:
- To anticipate something with pleasure
- To be pleased or excited because something is going to happen
For most of us, adulthood has brought increased responsibilities and a decreased sense of fun. Nothing says fun like spending the majority of your day working, only to see the value of those hard hours dissipate into mortgages and electric bills. Normally adding additional requirements to your employee’s workday is just another sign that the fun in their life is slowly slipping through their grasp. So how do you change the outlook on the grind of compliance activities from being something your employees have to do, to something they look forward to doing?
Okay, so maybe “looking forward to it” is a bit optimistic, but there are ways to make compliance activities more enjoyable and something the staff and individual teams within organization can really get behind. For the sake of brevity, there are two ideas that I believe can be incorporated immediately in any organization that have the ability to change attitudes when it comes to creating a smart ethical culture that looks forward to being so.
Games – Everyone loves games (ok, almost everyone). We loved games as children and while the names and types of games we play change as we age, we’ve never really stopped enjoying playing. As you’re setting up your compliance initiatives, look at the different ways you can gamify* them (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play).
For instance, break up your “Code of Conduct” into questions (call it Code Jeopardy) and have each department compete in their knowledge and understanding of your Code. Using some simple game theories like this can move your initiatives beyond just checking the box, allowing you to really develop an understanding within the organization of what is expected. This should, of course, be respectful of the material; but respect and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive ideas.
Rewards – Employees enjoy being rewarded. If this statement feels unfamiliar to you, making compliance fun probably shouldn’t be at the top of your list of priorities. If you want employees to exhibit ethical behavior, a good place to start is rewarding it. If there is one thing that really gets the attention of a workforce, it’s bennies (benefits)! Now, bennies can come in many forms, but I believe the one most people respond to is money.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves a pizza luncheon on the company dime, but not as much as they love a bonus. A simple question you can ask is: When performing our evaluation on employees, do we take into account our compliance requirements, and more importantly what are those activities worth to us as an organization? If you don’t value these needs, it is unlikely that your workforce will.
While there might not be one specific fix for turning your organization into a highly ethical, compliant machine, there are a multitude of ways to make the process less onerous. All of these ideas can survive and thrive, but only with a heavy injection of sincerity. Your workforce will gravitate towards sincerity because it shows that these activities aren’t just machinations making their lives more difficult, but are integral to the success of the company and more importantly themselves.
In case you missed Part 1: Compliance, click here.
In case you missed Part 2: Ethics, click here.
*Gamification – the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service