There has never been a time when there has been more assembly of regulatory compliance and laws, both domestically and internationally. It is across every industry. It is across every internal function. Corporate compliance is no longer just advice and counsel. In our litigious society, it is an integral piece to your company’s financial survival.
YOUR COMPANY’S FINANCIAL SURVIVAL
Some owners say “ we can’t afford to comply”, and choose to shut down their machines, and close their doors. Wayne Lumber and Mulch Inc. faces $85,080 in proposed penalties following two investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).OSHA officials say the company continues to expose employees to willful, repeat and serious safety and health hazards (no hazard communication program, noise, failure to check fire extinguishers, no removal of combustable sawdust, floors poorly maintained, no stairway, poor equipment maintenance).
As a company, you want to produce as much as possible, as quickly as possible, and you are so busy maintaining production, you do not have time or the means to write everything down, track everything, enforce non-compliant workers….It is difficult to manually manage and track these details.
NO – YOU CAN’T PREDICT:
No one can predict the next disruptive law or reshuffled regulation, but you can get a sense of how much it affects your risk; immediate, short term, long term, internal, or external. The best we can do is to plan actively, change, and adapt. By using scenarios, setting strategies and looking for agile platforms, you can navigate through compliance transformations.
6 THINGS YOU CAN DO:
1. Use Scenarios
Be proactive, not reactive. Identify and asses your industry corporate compliance risks. Look at each regulation in several different scenarios relevant to your industry. Analyze how you and others would respond to different outcomes. Document and track your findings, your prevention plan, and your training for that regulation.
2. Map A Plan
You will save money, if you shut your doors for a day or two and map out a problems checklist and a solutions checklist. Once you have a basic plan that addresses immediate threats, utilize an employee accessible cloud technology with compliance software to manage and track each item, so you can easily add in additional policies, edit changes, or distribute employee trainings.
3. Apply Communication Strategies
The risk management process should explicitly address uncertainty. This calls for being systematic and structured and keeping the big picture in mind. Monitor early signs of a risk translating into an active problem. This is achieved through continual communication by one and all at each level. It is important to enable and empower each employee to deal with the threat at his / her level.
4. Don’t Do It Alone
You can not comply alone. You need your employees engaged and accountable in the process. It is your job to identify the needs and provide solutions, it is their job to actively harvest workplace compliance.
5. Exercise Inter-Departmental Transparency
In risk management, quick communication of authentically ascertained information is key. Decisions should be made on best available information and there should be company wide transparency and visibility. Inter-departmental transparency and inclusive practices ensures every employee knows their role at each stage of the risk management process.
6. Recognize What Leading Companies Do
Rid the manual mentality that your grandfather used. Cloud technology (compliance software) is the only method right now that can accomplish dynamic intelligence for every employee and every department. Meetings, e-mails, web portals, and handbooks can not adapt or track each version of each law as efficiently as modern web automation. How do you choose which one?
No matter what you do, things will change. An investment made today may be irrelevant tomorrow. There’s no avoiding that, but you can try to minimize it. Look for leverage points where some investment will make an impact on multiple areas and in multiple scenarios. If your investment affects multiple areas, it is far more likely to look like a good bet in the long term. No one and no program can insulate themselves from change. The best we can do is to plan actively, change, and adapt.
By: Kristen Goodell, M.Ed, Co-Owner
Kristen converts inefficient compliance management systems and siloed technology into a dynamic workflow with end to end client support. Through our implementation process we work with you to reveal areas of hidden risk and produce new best practices for your compliance management team.