It is surprising how often corporate compliance teams over-complicate matters. Compliance and ethics topics often raise difficult questions of integrity and morality, but the rationale behind corporate policies, and the implementation of guidelines and procedures should be easy to both understand and execute.
Don’t Make Me Think
Making corporate compliance as easy as possible for those in the field is paramount in a number of ways. Foremost, it is important to make the right thing to do also the easiest thing to do. For example, do company policies require immediate attention from a regional sales director regarding recent gift giving? Instead of sending a long email filled with policy language and a barrage of questions that need answers that day, why not send an automated text with a link to a short video several weeks before?
It’s important to make the right thing to do the easiest thing to do.
Workflows help managers walk through required steps without having to figure out what needs to be done next.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
By thinking out each process and transforming it into a repeatable workflow, managers can be led through the required steps without having to figure out what needs to be done next. And since compliance activities such as policy reviews and declarations might be regular, periodic events that occur over the course of a calendar year, less time is spent remembering how something needs to be done when it follows easy-to-remember, guided steps.
Centralize to make life easier for everyone
A centralized, online approach to organizing and disseminating corporate compliance information makes life easier for all involved. But the real focus of content management needs to be on the employee—the consumer. Having a centralized online destination stocked with easily searchable and accessible content makes life so much easier for anyone needing something fast. Producing compliance content in smaller pieces that leverages the variety of available web-based technologies makes the content both interesting and more memorable. Eliminating paper and bringing all forms online and accessible though mobile phones and tablets saves time and reduces costs.
The real focus of content management needs to be on the employee – the consumer.
It makes it easier for others to appreciate the value delivered by the compliance office.
Helpful side effects
A side effect of making corporate compliance easier and accessible is increased credibility. Not only does it display a level of competence and professionalism by delivering programs and content that makes better sense in today’s world, it also makes it easier for others to appreciate the value delivered by the compliance office. As dashboards and reports are regularly and automatically delivered to manager’s inboxes, it becomes apparent who is doing well and where attention is needed. And as a result, overall awareness and attention to compliance widens across the organization and management ranks.
Ethics and compliance programs are as essential to the operation of a company as sales, accounting, quality assurance and revenue. By codifying compliance processes and content, and instilling accountability, clarity and ease in accessing and disseminating information, compliance managers can leave behind those static, three-ring binders of policies and procedures collecting dust on office shelves into dynamic, interactive content driving defined workflows.