Compliance within Canadian companies can be elusive, and the idea of compliance is often associated with concepts of bureaucracies and stifling regulations and procedures. However, compliance isn’t just a bunch of rules written in an employee manual.
Having a robust culture of compliance is important in so many ways to the success of a business. A culture of compliance helps Canadian companies reduce risk, improve ethics and accountability, and put the focus of the business on being successful, rather than trying to fight against the consequences of non-compliance.
So what can Canadian business leaders do to create or boost their own compliance culture?
Visibility is an essential component of doing business in the modern world. The businesses of the past were often shrouded in secrecy, and operations always took place behind closed doors. This is no longer the optimal the way to do things.
Employees don’t appreciate it, customers don’t, and it’s not an effective way to promote compliance.
Start by implementing integrated software systems such as Canadian expense management software to promote visibility of key information and data, and then go from there. It needs to be easy to see what’s happening across departments in real-time to spot potential problems before they grow into something unmanageable.
Having visibility beginning with your digital resources is going to allow you to spot even small areas of non-compliance or fraud that wouldn’t otherwise be easy to see.
Go From the Top-Down
Sometimes the people at the top of an organization tend to feel like issues of compliance don’t necessarily apply to them, and that’s unfortunate because corporate culture always starts at the top.
The highest leaders in an organization need to be the first ones to buy into and live the framework of a culture of compliance. If senior management isn’t doing it, don’t expect anyone else to.
Train and Evaluate
A big mistake a lot of businesses make when it comes to compliance is that they expect employees just to know it. While there are of course instances of non-compliance that are willful and fraudulent, in many cases, it’s a lack of knowledge about what compliance means in a particular situation.
Employers hold the responsibility to make sure employees are regularly trained, re-trained and then evaluated on their understanding of how to be compliant. While there are costs associated with this, they’re going to be lower than what happens as the result of non-compliance.
Don’t Ignore Non-Compliance
Ignoring non-compliance may seem like the easy road, but it’s highly damaging over the long-term. Non-compliance has to be called out, and it needs to be used as a way to help others prevent it from occurring again.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of regularly evaluating your compliance policies and making sure they’re still relevant, realistic and enforceable. Sometimes an issue of non-compliance may be more directly related to a failure of the policy, as opposed to a problem with your workforce.