Many industries are now highly regulated, with the trend for greater compliance on an upward curve. With almost daily scandals relating to bribery, corruption and counterfeiting, it’s difficult to foresee a time when deregulation will be back on the agenda. From financial services and pharmaceuticals to food production and automotive manufacturing, businesses need to adapt their processes and their people to a new world of accountability and consistency. The larger the organisation the greater the scope for slip-ups, but there are ways to ensure that all employees toe the compliance line, not least through technology-based solutions such as apps.
Reviewing the tools of your trade
All businesses have their ‘tools of the trade’, whether these are physical pieces of equipment or collateral, software or applications, or processes and agreed ways of doing things. If you have a large workforce who may be working across many sites, or a sales team out on the road seeing customers and suppliers, you are largely reliant on trust to ensure they are using the tools of their trade correctly. While employees need to be able to adapt to different situations and customer need, it’s vital that there is consistency. What’s more, the management team must be able to provide evidence of this to demonstrate compliance with the relevant legal or corporate framework.
When did you last audit the tools being used within your organisation? Conducting a review of how your team are using the software, equipment and processes available to them almost always throws up surprising findings and is an opportunity to uncover inconsistencies as well as potentially rooting out non-compliance. Which ones are no longer fit for purpose? Which have been left to gather dust and need to be brought back into use?
Fintech (financial technology) is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK digital economy and there is no shortage of tech available to aid regulatory compliance. We have developed a range of apps and web-based products to help financial, legal and pharmaceutical firms to develop a culture of compliance, but many sectors are still not embracing the possibilities available to them through technology. The advent of the internet of things, wearable tech, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence can create fear and mistrust, but used wisely and consensually, there is huge scope for making compliance easier and more intuitive. Technology can help to futureproof your compliance procedures, as well as saving management time and resources.
Addressing training needs
It doesn’t matter how much time, energy and funding you’ve invested in compliance tools if your staff aren’t trained in how and why to use them. When we create a piece of compliance tech for a client, training is a vital part of the package to ensure that everyone understands what the new system is for, how it benefits them and its importance to the organisation. It’s common for employees to be resistant to change and want to hang on to the old ways of doing things, so the benefits to them in their everyday working life need to be spelled out.
Training is also an ongoing process to keep everyone using the system consistently and properly, so plan refresher courses or updates once or twice a year. Training sessions are also a great opportunity to listen to your team’s feedback on the system and gain real insight ‘from the coalface’. All too often compliance measures are dreamt up in the corporate ivory tower, with little understanding of how they will be implemented on the ground. There may be improvements to be made or new ideas which could make your system even more efficient and effective.
If you need advice on improving compliance and consistency in your organisation, Companyapp may be able to help. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation discussion.