According to an article by Lisa DiBenedetto in The Compliance & Ethics Blog, communication is an integral part of a compliance program.
What exactly is compliance communication? It is the way of communicating various factors about your organization’s compliance such as its importance, the penalty of breaching it, and more. But it is not just enough for the organization’s leaders to pay lip service to the importance of compliance. Compliance communication needs to ensure your employees realize the importance of complying and make them want to undergo necessary training to avoid any breaches.
Let us look at some factors that you need to incorporate in your compliance communication plan to achieve this.
Compliance messages comprise mainly of a primary and a secondary message. Primary messages generally include top executives or leaders of an organization talking about the importance of compliance programs and trying to spread awareness about them.
Including top executives to impart this message helps your employees connect better. Videos can be used as a medium to deliver primary messages. A large part of the effectiveness of primary messages depends on the existing behavior of top level executives. The messages should be consistent with the behaviors and values they display, thus removing any chances of instilling compliance cynicism among your employees.
Secondary messages include in-depth details about the various compliances and the risks. This will help your employees in understanding what each compliance policy is about and adhere to it.
It is common knowledge that compliance training should target the audience, but did you know that this can be applicable even for the compliance communication? Yes, Your compliance messages should differ based on your employees’ needs and roles. Your compliance communications should be designed to address your employees’ varied job roles, education, awareness of compliance issues, time constraints, and attitudes.
For example, managerial level employees should be addressed differently from other employees as they have a more important and complex role when it comes to compliance. Or, the communication message might differ from senior employees to new joiners. Therefore, targeting specific audience while communicating your compliance messages will improve their effectiveness.
Strategy and Tactics
The method of communication should also be designed strategically. For instance, it can be web-based communication where a leader of the organization speaks in a WebEx conference, addressing local and global employees. It can be a periodic, direct communication by the local leaders of your organization. It can also be in the form of brochures, posters, guides, infographics, and promotional items. The last method of communication is more effective for employees in the manufacturing sector. Having posters in the areas they frequent – let’s say — equipment handling areas will help them learn about the importance of compliance.
The above tips or tactics can help you design a better compliance communication plan which helps in a larger and deeper spread of awareness about the importance of compliance among your employees.