For learning managers working in complex and high-risk businesses (mining, manufacturing or medical for example) the stakes are high in ensuring compliance. From exorbitant fines to the potential loss of life, the risks of not getting compliance right can be extreme. Combine this with the typical uphill battle of getting business managers to buy-in, and it can result in moving your stress levels into the red zone.So to help you mitigate your compliance risk (and stress) we’ve compiled our top 6 steps for more efficient and effective compliance management.
Without winning your business leaders’ support, the best laid compliance plans will be met with resistance down through the ranks. Fail to get the nod from the guys at the top, and your compliance requests will always get prioritised below the perceived more pressing (revenue generating) work.
The trick to winning the backing business leaders is visibility. You need to get in front of them and stay in front of them. Regular updates and status reports will keep the importance of your program top of mind. If you can, try to recruit an executive to be the face of your campaign and promote your program to the wider business.
Building the right structure and workflow to your compliance program can be broken down into three fundamental steps:
Understand the need: identify the compliance obligations that impact the business at all levels
Translate into actions:describe the evidence that needs to be captured to prove compliance is being met, and the processes required to do so
Define the who, where and when:assign responsibilities to people managing sites at key times to deliver compliance outcomes
Based on the evidence required (as defined in 2i above), you will have the building blocks to begin constructing your checklists. Checklists need to be as clear and simple as possible while capturing the necessary evidence. This means unambiguous questioning with well thought out responses that measure compliance, partial compliance or non-compliance. By simplifying as much as possible, you will streamline your process, leave less room for error and reduce resistance from both the auditors and the people being audited.
The importance of your team can’t be overstated. Given the high level of risk associated with getting compliance right, auditors need a specific set of skills. Among the many skills, a strong personality that can be assertive at the right time is important. Strong personal ethics helps to maintain the integrity of the program. High-level communication and organisational skills are necessary to keep the project on track.
When managing compliance for large-scale operations the right mobile tools will let you get manage compliance faster and with more accuracy. Mobile technology can give you the flexibility to react to new compliance demands quickly by reducing the time it takes to roll out new checklists and collate results. Mobile technology also reduces the burden on auditors by removing paperwork hassles while reducing the risk of manual data entry errors. For more on mobile tech, Click Here.
The key to an effective compliance program is in it’s learning. In order to stay on the radar of top executives, you will need to compile data and present insightful results regularly. To garner ongoing support, you will need to show how the business is learning, working smarter and reducing risk. As in step 1, visibility is everything. Consider building a dashboard of key compliance data, so that business leaders can see (and recognise) the results you are achieving with the program.
Following these 6 steps will put you on the path to increasing the effectiveness of your compliance program. At xapiapps, we’ve been helping businesses utilise technology to streamline compliance and reduce risks.
To find out more read our other compliance posts: