Understanding risks, knowledge gaps, and overall staff awareness is a key component of compliance planning. When designed properly and conducted regularly, surveys offer a robust and unbiased way to test the effectiveness of a compliance programme.
By listening to employee feedback, managers can better gauge the state of their organisation or team, enabling them to drive value by focusing on problem areas.
How can surveys improve compliance?
Employers should aim for survey completion rates to be as high as possible to gain an accurate representation of the state of the organisation. Once results are obtained, they need to be collated and analysed, and managers should aim to identify emerging risks or knowledge gaps.
Identifying compliance risks
When analysing a large body of employees, common themes will likely emerge. From a compliance and employee wellbeing standpoint, it is important to focus resources on tackling the most common or impactful themes first.
Developing training strategies
By identifying priority risk areas, senior management can develop actionable compliance programmes based on evidence. Employee feedback is an important resource that should be leveraged to ensure you are not left exposed to threats.
Improving employee performance & engagement
Using surveys to inform decision-making also serves to improve employee morale. When people see leaders acting in their best interests, it is likely to boost engagement and performance. Decision-makers should utilise surveys to stay connected with the pulse of the wider organisation.
Examples of key compliance surveys
a. Diversity & inclusivity surveys
Diversity and inclusivity (D&I) surveys provide an accurate picture of how inclusive and fair people think your company culture is. It is important to assess both metrics as a diverse employee demographic does not necessarily equate to an inclusive culture. D&I surveys should encompass topics of inclusion, equality, fairness, respect and diversity.
This topic is rapidly gaining importance in the wake of recent research reports that evidence the effectiveness of diversity on employee engagement and subsequent outperformance. While there is no specific regulation governing employee diversity and inclusion, supervisory bodies such as the FCA are exploring how they can use their powers to promote diversity in organisations.
b. Cybersecurity surveys
The threat of cybersecurity breaches has risen sharply since the beginning of the pandemic. UK SMEs now experience circa 65,000 cybersecurity attacks daily, and resulting data breaches cost firms an average of £2.48m per instance. With resources stretched, fewer businesses report having adequate cybersecurity protection in place.
Building a strong cybersecurity programme begins with measurement. Compliance surveys are a cost-effective means of identifying priority risk areas, enabling managers to direct resources to the areas of cybersecurity that could benefit most.
c. Working from home surveys
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many organisations to adopt a remote or hybrid working model. This shift has been difficult for a large proportion of the working population. They are forced to work alone and often in sub-optimal conditions, where they either lack proper equipment or work in and amongst family life.
Working from home surveys help to facilitate a smooth transition from office life to home working. By conducting compliance surveys, employers can gain a sense of employee challenges and morale. Managers should act promptly in instances where issues arise.
Manual approaches to compliance surveys
Compliance surveys are often created, distributed and collected manually using physical documents or basic software. Identifying risks and knowledge gaps is vital if organisations want to make the best use of the surveys.
Risks from manual compliance surveys
- Compliance or HR departments are put under pressure to achieve timely distribution and collation of results.
- Managing surveys across large or fragmented workforces may be inefficient and ultimately unsustainable.
- Unrepresentative sampling may mean the results carry far less weight.
- Collating/analysing large volumes of responses using spreadsheets may lead to issues being missed or misidentified.
- Completion rates may be lower as those failing to complete cannot easily be chased up.
- Other information cannot be easily introduced into analysis, such as location, role or length of service.
Using RegTech to manage compliance surveys
RegTech solutions offer a robust alternative to the manual survey process.
By automating the workflows involved in survey creation, distribution, and collection, organisations can save time and money while reducing error risk.
RegTech solutions enable compliance surveys to be created, completed and analysed in one place, mitigating any issues associated with manual processing.
a. Survey templates
Whilst RegTech tools allow users to create surveys from scratch. Their real benefit is through survey templates. These allow surveys to be quickly replicated or customised for different teams, departments and roles.
Survey templates can ensure you are using the correct combination of questions to gauge employees' knowledge and perceptions of compliance effectively.
Asking the right questions of the right people is a key component of survey design. Employers only have one opportunity to gather insight, and a poor survey structure can lead to responses providing little in the way of actionable results.
b. Automated survey management
RegTech solutions enable employee surveys to be managed via a centralised portal. Users can be assigned and reminded to complete surveys, and results are automatically collected and collated in the same vein. Responses can also be anonymised to encourage more honest completions.
c.Granular survey results analysis
Reports can be generated instantly, showing trends and attitudes at a more granular level. And results can be assigned red, amber or green ratings meaning issues can be spotted at a glance.
In anonymous surveys, results can be grouped by department or location to facilitate more in-depth analysis.
Hopefully, now it is clearer how compliance surveys can help you identify knowledge gaps plus anticipate and mitigate risks.
There may be flaws in ad hoc compliance surveys, but better to start with a manual process than none. However, if you are in a larger or more geographically dispersed organisation, using RegTech to manage surveys means less work, shorter lead times and more accurate results.
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