A recent report from ThomsonReuters.com focusing on the “top compliance trends around the globe” shines special focus on the trend that precedes all others, especially if compliance is to be successful: creating the right culture at a company.
As the report says, a compliance-friendly culture offers many advantages: It helps increase productivity, enhance employee engagement and reduce overall risk. According to the report, 58 percent of businesses survey saw promoting such a culture of integrity to be the “ultimate goal of their compliance and ethics programs.” Here are the steps many of them took:
- Communication: Fostering a culture of compliance means setting the right tone at the top. The culture must have the enthusiastic support of stakeholders, boards of directors, senior executives and other business leaders – and that support must be effectively communicated throughout the company.
- Education: Then, to spread the word, the employees at every level must be actively trained how to recognize and address compliance issues. This training, the report stresses, should be an ongoing process with employees revisiting compliance topics on a regular basis.
- Assessment: Finally, efforts aimed at supporting and promoting a culture of compliance need to be evaluated on a regular basis to determine their effectiveness and to chart any need for improvement. Regular discussions should also be held to recognize areas of oversight and get ideas for adapting polices to further encourage compliance.
By making such investments in time and resources to create a culture of compliance, a company can increase its bottom line dramatically. According to ThomsonReuters report, accounting scandals typically take a reputation-related toll of as much as 27 percent of a company’s pre-scandal price. This alone should be incentive to increase compliance, but bolstering brand awareness and reducing fines can also be among the results.
What’s more, if a company is outsourcing many of its non-core processes, it’s important to choose a provider whose compliance credentials are strong, meeting state and federal security requirements and adhering to industry standards.