8 Tips to Ensure Compliance in the Workplace
Setting company-wide expectations – and having them met consistently – is a difficult challenge for all businesses. . Ensuring compliance to these expectations in the workplace is not only integral to smooth function in daily workflow, but to ensure best practices for security and compliance measures are met. We’ve compiled the best processes and philosophies for setting and maintaining company policies that stay relevant, alive, and applicable to help ensure compliance in the workplace wherever possible.
1. Document policies and procedures
Putting policies down on paper (or having them somewhere accessible digitally to employees) not only lends them more authority and weight, it will also make them readily available to employees looking to stay on top of the best methods. Consider requesting input from multiple players within your company to create a “living” document that is updated to stay adaptable and relevant as situations change both internally and externally.
2. Apply your policies and procedures consistently
Consistency is absolutely necessary for success. Policy compliance should be demonstrated from the top down, setting the tone for employees in every role within the company. This is especially relevant to security protocol and procedures. Setting expectations through open communication will help keep policies relevant, too – consider sitting down for a team meeting at least once a year to review documented guidelines, including an open conversation about what works best and contributes most strongly to streamlined performance. This type of natural, ongoing conversation will integrate policies into company culture beyond the feeling of obligatory mandates.
3. Remove compliance barriers
If you’ve put time into crafting relevant policies and documenting them in a guidebook, make sure that your staff has an opportunity to actually read them! Allocate time in the onboarding process for guidelines review and make sure your door is open to any inquiries regarding policies.
If your team is having trouble implementing a certain policy because its relevance becomes less clear, it’s time to review the policy. Keeping guidelines in the front of everyone’s minds and being open to tweaking them to stay abreast of current environments makes it easier for your team to remember and respect the requirements set in place.
INCLUDE A CHECKLIST – Everyone loves the satisfaction of checking items off a list! If some internal processes require a certain sequence of events, a reminder in the form of a checklist will help team members stay clear on what’s required as well as provide a satisfying way of marking their progress for a project.
4. Use training as reinforcement
Communication is a key player in ensuring compliance in the workplace. Regular training sessions with all levels of management and staff make codes crystal clear and memorable, reducing the chances of negative situations (missing deadlines or not meeting obligations) in favor of positive ones (group discussions and company-wide reminders to work as a team). The “train, don’t blame” philosophy will go a long way in mitigating conflict and potential to miss the mark.
5. Stay up to date on laws and regulations
Making sure that your team is staying organized and prepared for constant evolution can help ensure compliance with effective policies. Your company’s HR, IT, safety, and compliance departments should stay in an active cycle of “review/update/implement/maintain” to actively ensure relevance – and therefore, compliance. Don’t forget to stay on top of changing security, safety, and employment-related laws and regulations from State and Federal governments.
6. Make sure the whole team is following procedures
Policies won’t hold water if they’re only enforced in select situations. Every team member is subject to company regulations and processes, especially when following said guidelines impacts daily workflow. If just one person does not follow security measures, it could lead to severe consequences, such as a data breach. The best way to maintain consistency in compliance is to have an energetic HR, Safety, and IT teams, compliance officers, and management keeping their finger on the pulse of the company. Communication, reasoning (explaining the “why”), rewards, and continuous training will contribute to a smoothly functioning office on every level.
7. Conduct compliance audits regularly
Not sure how compliance is looking these days? Test it! Compliance audits reveal how policies can be updated or changed to be more clear and applicable as well as spotlighting any bottlenecks or security gaps in implementation and practice.
8. Use tools and software to help simplify compliance
If consistency is important (and really, when is it not?), staying on top of digital tools can help your company stay efficient and avoid missing links and flaws. Software can often be tuned to meet specific regulations in your geographic area or industry, reducing the risk for manual-entry errors and enhancing connectivity and access for all.
Does your business need help to organize important data to ensure compliance in the workplace? Records Management Center can help! Contact us today to learn more.