By Norman Ford
When you hear the word compliance, do you cringe? Does your mind immediately think of lawyers, lawsuits, and employee misconduct? It’s unfortunate how the evolution of laws, violations, and safety concerns have conditioned our minds to think about compliance in a vacuum. Our perceptions to focus on the negative connotations that accompany the topic and what it is, instead of what it can and should be.
When I hear the word compliance, I don’t cringe. In fact, I imagine words like empowerment, collaboration, and see it as a journey that can harness the power of employee participation in delivering positive outcomes. I see topics that educate staff or training that embeds key values in every member of the team, empowering them to think about work, peer interactions, and the business environment differently.
What I don’t see is employees in a classroom, or sitting in front of a computer, forced to sit for long hours and endure training and testing. Instead, I see team members who are smart, have individual strengths, and can contribute to the success of even the most complex compliance environments, employees willing, and able to learn about laws, regulations, and the impact it has on both the personal and professional level.
Now ask yourself who in the company can understand overarching goals and commit to inspiring change? Who can persuade others with their experience, is an active participant in group conversations, or provides different points of view to weigh opinions against facts?
Picture these people and their ability to harness each and everyone’s ideas, focus on them. Too often companies overlook this valuable asset, employees who possess these traits, traits that can help your organization with the effectiveness of their compliance training program.
Nurturing this "employee voice" will help build a strong business culture; a culture that sees compliance as a value and a cornerstone of the business, and will produce an environment where accountability is shared across the team — where every employee, no matter their role, recognizes the role and importance of compliance.
To build a strong culture, you need to:
- Empower employees to speak up and contribute
- Support a collaborative environment where feedback is gathered and staff feel they are part of the solution
- Encourage company commitment and transparency — with open communication and awareness
- Embrace a compliance culture that highlights the role each employee plays, where everyone is working together to achieve business objectives, rather than simply completing it to check a box
I firmly believe each and every employee has their part to play, and if given the opportunity, can help affect change and create a meaningful impact. Each of us has an inner compliance superhero, with superpowers that can be used to collaborate, inspire, and educate. Superpowers that be harnessed to build a strong company culture where both employees and the business thrives.
Wonder what type of compliance superhero you can be? Take this 60-second quiz to learn what compliance superpowers you have.
Norman Ford is the VP of Product Management and Services for Skillsoft Compliance Solutions.