By Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC
Director of Compliance Services
Management Performance Associates
This is the fourth installment of the Compliance Culture Building Blocks series.
Compliance is complicated. A compliance program that takes a hard-lined “hammer” approach only makes this worse. Yes, of course you need to discipline employees who violate the compliance program. But a “get it right or else” attitude will not motivate most people to comply—and it certainly won’t motivate people to report problems to you. A compliance program that strives to help employees do their jobs in a way that adheres to the compliance program makes things easier for employees. Where would you rather work?
Culture is in the context
You hire employees with good values and high integrity. How do you reinforce those values so employees make the right decision in a tough situation? By making compliance your context. Compliance should be part of the conversation, from line staff to leadership and executives. This can’t happen unless everyone is trained, and compliance is part of the dialogue.
Training opportunities are everywhere
In order to make compliance part of your culture, training needs to go far beyond the annual compliance training PowerPoint session or video. Your strategy should be to help employees understand compliance, every day.
Employees are busy providing patient care, documenting their work, and submitting claims. We can help our employees do these things in a way that adheres to the compliance program. This requires compliance to meet employees where they are. How can you get compliance reminders in front of your team throughout their work flow? Would a shift change chat work? Flyers in the bathrooms? Training doesn’t have to be a 30- to 60- minute in-service to be effective.
In this era of social media, infotainment and information overload, staff are constantly inundated with new information. This means you need to make some noise. Think outside the box for ways to keep compliance risks top-of-mind. Use examples so employees are prepared to respond in a tough situation.
Market compliance to your staff
If compliance feels like a hammer in your organization, it’s time to re-brand. Brand your message so people see compliance as something that helps them do their jobs—not as something confusing, or something to fear. Once you choose your message, get the word out. Launch a compliance campaign, plan a compliance week, and find ways to increase your Compliance Officer’s visibility.
Be an ally to your staff and help them participate in your compliance journey, and your compliance culture and employee satisfaction will grow.
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