Getting Employees To Care About A Compliance Policy

by Thomas Fox
Contact

Putting a compliance policy into practice is not something that most companies do very well. How do you get buy-in for a new or amended compliance policy? How do you determine if a new compliance policy contradicts anything that you currently have in your compliance policy portfolio?

When thinking about such questions regarding compliance policies I am reminded of four questions posed by Stephen Page, in his book “Achieving 100% Compliance Of Policies and Procedures”, wherein he poses the following questions: (1) What is the nature of the policies owner’s function? As these are compliance policies, they are critical to a company doing business in compliance with relevant anti-corruption/anti-bribery laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act. (2) What is your organization’s overall vision and mission? This question speaks to management’s commitment to doing business ethically and in compliance with legal requirements. (3) What is the content of the policies? This speaks to the connection of the policy goals with other incentives, such as compensation and promotion. (4) What is your company’s receptivity to the policy? This question speaks to training and communication so that employees will understand not only the underlying reason for the policy but drive adherence to the policy.

These and other questions were explored at the recently concluded Compliance Week 2013 event in a session entitled “Case Study: Putting Policies into Practice at Dell”. Kristi Kevern, Director of Operational Compliance and Page Motes, Director, Strategic Programs Office – Global Ethics & Compliance from Dell Corporation, were the two panelists for the event. Kristi discussed how Dell overhauled its entire compliance policy management program and I will discuss her remarks in a later blog. Motes does not come from a compliance background but came from business development. I found her perspective quite different from the usual compliance perspective. From where she sits, she recognizes the need to internally market a new compliance policy; however this marketing plan must begin at the inception of a compliance policy and not after it has been drafted.

Motes said that it is incumbent to obtain buy-in from the business units before a compliance policy is drafted because, after all, it is the business units which will implement a compliance policy. This begins with a business unit sponsor who should have ownership of any new compliance policy. After the initial draft is made, it should be circulated to make sure that the compliance policy is workable and that it is translated from legalese (or accounting-ese) or other technical jargon into plain English. She said that is one of her key roles.

The next step is the internal market. Here Motes believes that a key is to move away from words such as ‘ethics’ to words that denote behaviors. She said that her group would talk about trust, honesty, respect, judgment and responsibility. After rollout the compliance group must train on the new policy and then monitor to ensure that it is followed. Finally, there must be some consequences to an employee if they are trained but fail after multiple warnings to follow a policy.

I thought about Motes’ ideas when I read a recent article in the June issue of Fast Company magazine, entitled “Starbucks’s Leap of Faith” which discussed the company’s rollout and approach to innovation. One of the examples in the article was when Starbucks rolled out its mobile application to allow customers to pay through their smart phones. The company worked with staff on proto-types, then trained and followed up with interviews to determine how the new system was working. Recognizing that there were technical glitches to overcome, the company persevered. Ryan Records, Vice President of Payments, was quoted as saying “it became seamless and flawless and an elegant way to pay” and that payment method now accounts for roughly 10% of the company’s total pay each day.

The Starbucks story drove home to me the key message from Motes. You must work with the business units to operationalize any policy. While it is true that a compliance professional will be the subject matter expert on the requirements of what should go into a compliance policy, but it is equally important on how that information is imparted and getting employees to care about the policy. Page puts it in a slightly different light. He said “From a systems viewpoint, it is often the organization’s infrastructure, and not its people, which is rigid and inflexible, often leading to angry and frustrated employees. If people cannot approach problems, talk openly, or give opinions, then this prevailing attitude can cause withdrawal and people who do not care. The clearer the tie between what an organization is doing and the results, the more energy, commitment, and excitement they will generate during a change process.” I think the latter sentence is what you need to strive for in the realm of compliance policies.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Thomas Fox
Contact
more
less

Compliance Evangelist on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.