Is It Better to Promote Compliance or Enforce It?
Advocates of increased regulation through such legislation as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, argue that corporations cannot be trusted to self-regulate and, as a result, need a comprehensive framework of regulatory standards to enforce compliance to established operational practices. Failure to comply with those standards must, it is argued, come with consequent financial penalties of sufficient severity to further enforce compliance.
Organizations take the same approach with their internal compliance processes. Frequent audits enforce harsh consequences for any documented errors, and endless rounds of revisions, update distributions, and attestations ensure that the message that compliance is not optional is clearly transmitted. The extensive use of convoluted legalese further enforces the message that compliance is serious business and should be regarded as such.
While organizational conformity to regulatory standards and industry best practices is a worthwhile goal, the use of penalties as a threat to achieve that conformity is not the only option. Issuing a constant stream of reminders of the importance of compliance, only to then interrupt normal business with spot-check audits can be highly disruptive. If that disruption extends to missed deadlines or production quotas, the end result of your constant reinforcement can then be active subversion of your compliance practices. Employees will become so frustrated by and tired of the constant reminders that they will take action to deliberately undermine the process.
Compliance has a positive purpose that impacts every member of your organization. As such, the message can be a positive one. Rather than constant reinforcement of the potential consequences for a transgression, why not consider promoting the benefits of full compliance? Audits become less painful and disruptive, and reminder messages become less frequent as each department establishes a positive track record of compliance to all respective policies.
While compliance can never be optional, full compliance can be something to be celebrated for the achievement that it represents. Successful audit reports can be recognized as evidence of a job well done rather than simply being dismissed as a dodged bullet or managed inconvenience. Integrating compliance as a matter of departmental pride rather than enforcing it as another layer of managerial bureaucracy can have a remarkably transformative effect.
Simplify and Shorten Your Processes
Communicating your policies and procedures across your entire organization is challenging considering the scope of all your employees. If your processes are too complicated to read, chances are your expectations are not coming across to your employees. Strive to keep your policies and procedures short and concise to ensure easy readability and to break up certain sections. Your employees will appreciate the fact they are able to fully understand your organizational policies and procedures, along with avoiding any miscommunication or confusion along the way.
Another method of streamlining and simplifying your policy management processes is through ConvergePoint’s Policy Management Software and Office 365 Add-In . Our solutions manage the full policies and procedures lifecycle of your organization and allow you to gain a firm grasp on the policy creation, distribution and acknowledgement phases. Additionally, our policy management solutions help your organization reach regulatory compliance while effectively communicating your expectations.
Talk to a compliance specialist to learn how our Policy Management expertise can be applied to your business by scheduling a demo now.
Our comprehensive Compliance Software solutions can help you to manage your internal processes and procedures and give you the accurate data you need to promote compliance as a positive organizational achievement. Operating on one secure SharePoint portal using templates built on industry best practices, you can manage every element of compliance workflow from policy and contract creation to management and ongoing renewal. Secure access mitigates the risk of loss of version control, and the real-time dashboard provides up-to-the-minute status reports.
The opportunity to promote industry-leading compliance practices is closer than you may think. To learn more about our software now available onSharePoint 2010 , SharePoint 2013, SharePoint Online via Office 365, and as a Software-as-a-Service, schedule a demo now.
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