There are so many areas within a business where compliance can become an issue. There’s everything from safety and ethical compliance issues, to compliance with internal guidelines such as expense management.
Compliance is important to a business in almost every conceivable way. Employee compliance is important to avoid financial consequences such as lawsuits or fines, and it’s important for efficiency and productivity. It’s also important from a different financial perspective, which is the fact that a compliant workplace is often one that’s saving money in the right places and maximizing revenue.
Regardless of how important compliance may be, so many organizations face issues of noncompliance. Managers and company leaders start to feel like babysitters, and there can be a sense of resentment on the part of employees.
So how can companies encourage and enforce compliance, without the notion that they’re babysitting employees?
There are different reasons the use of technology is valuable when it comes to enforcing compliance without babysitting.
One example is the use of a mobile expense tracker, which is tied to an automated expense management platform. In this example, it’s easy for employees to feel like they’re in control of tracking their expenses. At the same time, the use of expense management technology allows CFOs and finance teams to set up the rules engine, and the parameters for T&E and enforcement is automated.
What’s also good about the use of technology regarding compliance is that it gives real-time visibility into what’s happening.
CFOs in the case of an expense tracker don’t have to worry about non-compliance going unnoticed and eventually spiraling out of control. Technology allows for red flags to be spotted more proactively so non-compliance can be dealt with quickly and appropriately.
Show Why Compliance Is Important
When employees hear the word compliance, they automatically start thinking about something that ’s nothing more than an unnecessary burden on them. As an employer, it’s important to change your tone and approach and to do this you should strive to show why compliance is important.
Rather than approaching compliance with a tone of strict enforcement and punishment for non-compliance, you want to lay out how it’s going to be beneficial for everyone.
We’re programmed to feel more inclined to follow the rules or instructions if we can understand the rationale behind them. It can also be a good idea to link compliance with the everyday jobs and lives of employees. They need to see a clear link between what they’re doing, the role compliance plays, and why compliance is essential not just at the organizational level, but also the personal level.
Make Policies Accessible
Often, what’s seen in the workplace is not that employees are being willfully noncompliant. Instead, they’re not even really sure how to be compliant.
It’s up to business leaders and managers to ensure policies are accessible, and not just during initial employee training.
Think about how your employees can find information when they need it. What should they do if they have a question or are unclear on a policy? Do they know where to go?
What if policies are updated? What’s the process for training employees on those updates, if there is one at all? These are all important things to think about it, and as an employer, it is up to you to make policies and guidelines as accessible as is possible.
Invest in Training
Training is one of the bests tools you have to fight against noncompliance. Despite the importance of training employees, many employers don’t see its value. First, employees, of course, have to be trained when they come onboard with the company. This is something most employers already do.
However, training shouldn’t end there.
Training and development need to be ongoing, and employees need to be offered regular refreshers and updates to make sure they’re always keeping the idea of compliance front and center in their mind.
The use of eLearning and mobile learning tools facilitate this in a more efficient and less expensive way than was previously possible.
The use of eLearning and mobile training offers a sense of flexibility that employees tend to find empowering and satisfying, so they’re more likely to be engaged with this kind of training than they would be if they felt forced to spend long hours in a classroom setting.
Finally, rather than putting all the focus on rooting out and punishing noncompliance, think about rewarding compliance. Yes, there may be instances where enforcement of compliance can require disciplinary steps, there are plenty more opportunities to put a positive spin on compliance by recognizing and rewarding what employees are doing right.