How can you improve compliance in your business?
For companies to ensure they comply with these regulations, they must adopt a level of compliance management, which will inevitably form the basis of a firm's reputation management.
Think about it - by staying compliant with regulatory standards, your company's reputation is bound to soar! So, where do you start?
It comes as no surprise that disciplinary action and fines should be a last resort when all other measures have failed. But you can enforce many other things in your business before being forced to reach that point of last resort.
Top 10 ways to boost compliance in your firm
1. Know your remit & your compliance universe
Be clear about what your staff must comply with (e.g. financial, legal, IT, information security, environment, regulatory, product, stewardship, etc.), what things are non-negotiable, and what is the exact role of each staff member.
2. Match interventions to the compliance levels
There may be different compliance expectations at the company, department and individual level. Some people comply right away, whereas others only comply when faced with the threat of legal action.
Know where your team or department sits on the compliance spectrum and plan interventions accordingly to ensure future compliance.
3. Build relationships
The 'perfect' compliance model is where everyone works together, and no one person is held responsible for compliance.
This can only be done if there are effective relationships between departments and the supply chain, with clearly defined responsibilities from a central command.
4. Harness regulatory technology
Instead of having a patchwork of different systems to manage compliance, get RegTech tools to do the legwork for you. They bring everything together in one place, help to streamline processes, prevent duplication and simplify compliance.
5. Know your business
How well do you really understand your business - its processes, supply chain, production, marketing or the 'end product'? You can't 'do' compliance if you don't 'get' the business.
What's more, if you are responsible for compliance in parts of the business you don't understand or have no experience with, reach out and create ownership with those who can help and might have the answer.
6. Speak your employees' language & use relevant statistics
Review your compliance documentation (e.g., policies, processes, procedures, manuals and handbooks).
Do they speak the same language as the readers? Or were they written by the legal team who don't understand their practical use? Do they make sense to those who need to comply? Compliance demands clarity, so be sure to keep it simple!
If you're using statistics in your compliance training, they need context to resonate with staff. For example, if 70% of financial crime fines relate to money laundering, mention the impact of this and why it is relevant. Highlight the risks and red flags around money laundering and unpack the consequences for individuals and the company. Statistics will be a lot more powerful if you tell the whole story.
7. Follow industry standards
Is compliance decentralised to local offices or regions where you work? If so, how confident are you that global standards are being met?
Use industry standards to ensure that all processes and systems are developed and implemented correctly to recognised and consistent standards.
8. Learn from past mistakes
If mistakes occur, consider changing your regimes or rules, especially if it seems that they aren't working.
Avoid repeating mistakes by tweaking or rewriting the rules when you need to.
9. Regularly monitor & review
Gaps and new vulnerabilities can emerge as firms grow, expand, and merge with others. TalkTalk's huge data breach in 2015 largely resulted from failing to plug weaknesses in Tiscali's website post-merger, giving hackers an easy route in.
By placing compliance centre-stage and keeping it in mind, you can identify gaps that increase the compliance risk.
10. Continuously improve
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