Compliance Comes Front and Center

CheckboxesOne thing that has become crystal clear from all of the compliance research Brandon Hall Group has done recently: Compliance, whatever that may mean to your organization, is a rapidly growing priority. New and expanding regulations, along with advances in technology, are transforming the compliance landscape.

One example of this came from an event I recently attended, hosted by Equifax. That’s right, the credit report people. The company obviously does much more than that, and one of its business solutions centers around compliance with employment verifications, unemployment taxes and I-9s. Granted, this does not land squarely in the realm of compliance training, but there is still something interesting going on.

You see, what Equifax once branded as onboarding is now being called Compliance Center. To me this seemingly innocuous change signals something important. Equifax, and many other organizations, are no longer trying to create euphemisms for compliance. Once unfairly thought of as necessary busy work, compliance training is being recognized as a critical element of any business. It is important that we call it what it is.

In the space that Equifax occupies, this means tackling these issues head-on and building solutions to try to streamline what can sometimes be an arduous process. With the new acceptance of electronic signatures for government documents, the process can often be handled completely online, without the need for tracking bundles of paper for each new hire.

This feeds into the larger compliance training picture. These types of issues fall into what I would call the transactional end of the compliance spectrum, and this is where all employees begin their journey.  They then move through the maturity curve, taking relatively generic courses on harassment, ethics, etc., and eventually move to a place where (we hope) more strategic compliance training is blended in with initiatives such as leadership development and communication.

What this does is build a lifecycle for compliance that grows with employees throughout their time with the company. By emphasizing its importance early, employees are far more likely to remain engaged and in compliance as they move through the organization.

So when it comes to making sure employees are in compliance, whether with new hire paperwork or more complex regulatory issues, don’t apologize for compliance. Be clear about how it fits into the overall success of the business and call it what it is.

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