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Improving Your Business Compliance Program

By: Ted Banks

Businesses are spending more money on compliance programs with each passing year. It seems that more and more organizations have a need for compliance and regulatory adherence today than in the recent past. Unfortunately, businesses don’t always opt for external third party compliance expertise. Instead, they attempt to hire in-house staff to take care of their compliance needs. This is not the most favorable route to take for the vast majority of organizations, and a lack of experience translates into a lot of mistakes. The following are some things to keep in mind to improve the effectiveness and acceptance of your business compliance program.

Never Grow Lax with Training and Education

Training your employees and keeping them up to date with the latest compliance threats and risks is paramount to the success of your program. However, even if there are no new compliance threats to your organization, you should still spend time training and educating employees. By only training your employees once, you leave the door wide open for compliance failure and invite mistakes that could be disastrous for your business. Some employees may not fully understand compliance issues after one training session. People are different by nature, and some people need repetition before they fully comprehend a new topic.


Use Visual Aids to Remind Members of Your Organization

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and visual content posted around your organization can help grab the attention of your employees and remind them of your organizations culture and values. Unfortunately, the goals of your ethics and compliance programs may not always be in the forefront of your employees’ minds. In turn, this could cause a negligent or careless mistake that costs your organization substantial amounts of money. Find ways to remind your employees of your organization’s ethical culture and compliance requirements on a daily basis with visual aids.

Incentivize and Reward

Let’s face it. For an employee, it can be hard to get excited about corporate compliance. This is especially true if the leaders in your compliance and ethics program fail to reward exemplary employees. If you notice that one of your employees goes the extra mile to adhere to the ethics culture of your organization, there are many ways you can reward that employee. Though small prizes, incentives, and awards are useful, you don’t necessarily need to use these tools. Instead, you could even do something simple like recognize an employee in a company-wide newsletter. Remember, not only does bad behavior need to be disciplined, but good behavior needs to be rewarded too.

Quantify the Consequences and Risks

You need to be able to explain to your employees the degree of risk and consequences you face if there should be any compliance failures. Tell them the details of the fines and liability concerns to make things more real. Simply saying that you will incur a fine if certain actions are not carried out is ambiguous. You need to tell them exactly what will happen and how much it will cost so they have a full understanding of the importance of corporate compliance.

If you need qualified assistance creating a corporate compliance program or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today.