There is truth in the adage that says, ‘that which gets measured gets done.’ Work that requires updates and progress reviews gets completed. Work that is assigned, but never followed upon, usually gets ignored.
Accountability is just good business practice and an element of any worthwhile program.
Imagine if sales performance, production quality, accounts receivable, profitability, etc. weren’t continually measured and reviewed. These metrics get close scrutiny and attention because they are important to the organization.
Unfortunately, corporate compliance initiatives may have trouble demonstrating accountability. Yet, if compliant behavior is claimed as a high priority to executive management, shouldn’t the same reporting rigor be expected of compliance? The absence of accountability sends a subtle but quite notable message: corporate compliance is important, but not as important as a real job.
If reinforced from the top that compliance is important, the idea will usually trickle easily downhill.
Activities get assigned department-by-department, down to the individual contributor. What’s often missing, though, is a visible flow of information back up through the management ranks to illustrate where the compliance work is actually getting done and where improvements are needed.
This feedback loop can also provide a steady stream of directives to address and correct deficiencies. For management teams, it is essential to show corporate compliance activities are important and offer comparisons of group performance so that both results and course corrections can be readily debated and discussed.
What’s often missing, though, is a visible flow of information back up through the management ranks.
On the lighter side, accountability also appeals to the competitor in all of us.
Who doesn’t want to see a 100% compliance score shared with peers? This visibility gives a manager another tool to motivate the team: Let’s be the first to get to 100% compliance or, don’t be the person who drags the team’s score down! Whether used as a carrot or stick, accountability offers the ability to benchmark an initiative. It also reinforces that compliance is something we all are doing, as a team, department and company.
Who doesn’t want to see a 100% compliance score shared with peers?
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.
Next time we’ll look at the topic of clarity, and why it’s a powerful strategy for the success of a corporate compliance program.