Middle managers have the widest influence on the rank and file on a daily basis, so the success or failure of ethics and compliance programs can hinge on the “middle” of the management team. But they are busy people, keen on working as efficiently as possible to get their work finished before the day is done. There is little tolerance for ambiguity with this crowd. Clarity, as it turns out, is a powerful strategy for the success of a corporate compliance program.
Be as direct as possible on purpose, process and expectations
Being as direct as possible on purpose, process and expectations of a corporate compliance initiative will help them understand what is expected. By approaching middle managers with a thought-out rationale and unambiguous direction, it is more likely they will support compliance programs.
Clarity can also be used to assess policies and procedures. The typical enterprise has policies scattered across the organization, in a mishmash of styles and formats stored in a variety of file shares and portals. Worse, the policies might be wordy and written in confusing “legalese,” leaving room for confusion and misunderstanding.
Be clear in all messages, materials and expectations
Being clear in all messages, materials and expectations makes it far easier to enlist middle managers as compliance advocates, and for them to communicate the information to their teams. In doing so, less of managers’ time and energy will be required to answer subordinates’ questions, and there will be greater consistency in interpretation and communication of policies.
“You are not in a position to drive desired behaviors or enforce accountability if policies are not clearly written and consistent. Well-written and presented policies aid in improving performance, producing predicable outcomes, mitigating compliance risk, and avoiding incidents and loss.”
Principal Analyst of GRC 20/20 Research
Next, we’ll look the last letter in ACE: Ease, and we’ll dive into way to use online accessibility to improve Compliance Management.