All organizations’ compliance programs have either a proactive or reactive approach.
- Does your risk management department schedule an audit and then respond based on feedback?
- Does your compliance program consist of reviewing an audit checklist, possibly hiring a third-party consultant, updating your policies and procedures based on the audit and then waiting around to repeat in six months?
- Do your employees question how your company culture relates to your compliance program?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you have a reactive compliance plan — which is not really a plan at all. Although it might seem simpler and cheaper initially, reactive compliance leads to higher incremental costs, less transparency, and greater financial, legal and safety risks.
How can your organization shift its mindset and build a proactive compliance management system?
Establish a strong compliance culture. Company culture and compliance should go hand in hand, and everyone — from new recruits to upper level management — should recognize that compliance is part of everyone’s responsibilities.
Safeguard your critical information. A strong compliance program is all about mitigating risks — including cybersecurity threats. Don’t let your data get lost or hacked in the cloud or long email chains; protect it by storing it in a central document repository on your secure servers, instead of on shared drives.
Create policies that ensure compliance and are tied to regulations. That way, when regulations change, you can at once review the policy, tasks associated and other related parts to ensure they meet the new standards.
Train and reinforce proactive behaviors. Train and test your employees on the same policies and procedures to ensure everyone is on the same page. Reinforce the same concepts to build new habits.
Capture and monitor data. That way, you can notice trends and patterns in advance, and take proactive steps towards correcting potential issues.
Compliance management systems such as ConvergePoint’s Policy Management Software, Contract Management Software and Employee Health and Safety Training Management Software can manage all five of these critical compliance components for your organization. To see how, visit convergepoint.com.