By Caryl Anne Crowne
Content Writer & Media Specialist, Applya
Focusing on best practices for corporate compliance has become essential in business, as public pressure has caused firms to reevaluate goals and workplace policies. A growing awareness on corporate social responsibility has led to more careful audits, emphasizing productivity, fairness and efficiency. Here are key points managers are talking about in 2019 for meeting corporate compliance.
A key area of major concern for companies that deal with public safety is that employees are drug-free. These companies must conduct thorough background screenings as well as drug screenings. Testing must be compliant with HIPAA and OSHA requirements. Professionals in the healthcare industry face drug testing and should carry proper certifications.
Ethics and Training Programs
Corporations need strong ethics programs to avoid the pitfalls of sexual harassment or racial discrimination. Employees should be trained on corporate policies as part of their orientation. The polices should address the consequences of drug usage, committing fraud or making inappropriate comments to co-workers.
Employees need to be trained to understand that corporate compliance is crucial for moving up in the company. The training program should reiterate the company’s vision and emphasize the need for loyal support and a team atmosphere. Employees should sign agreement forms that they will follow company policies. Even though proper ethics should be learned at home, it helps to spell out policies so that workers understand they have specific behavioral responsibilities in the workplace.
By establishing standards and controls, a company can construct clear policies that can be communicated easily. The three levels of these standards and controls are setting a code of conduct, developing details for standards and creating procedures that ensure enforcement. Training programs should be extended to partners or vendors who have access to your company’s confidential information. Live in-person training usually has more impact than other methods.
Customer and Employee Surveys
One way that management can gauge how well it’s keeping in touch with its employees and customers is to issue surveys. These questionnaires provide answers to how a company’s products and services are viewed both internally and externally. The information can be used to detect vulnerabilities and improve the company’s brand. Collecting customer feedback is one of the most important ways to identify and resolve issues about quality quickly.
Since fraud or other forms of corruption can occur at various levels of an organization, it’s essential to regularly conduct risk management. A company should put its spending under close scrutiny so that money isn’t inappropriately being funneled toward nefarious activity.
Another area of concern should be data protection, particularly with regard to privacy. One of the biggest risks that all companies face these days is a cyberattack. Security breaches can unleash private information to criminals, leading to financial losses and lawsuits. That’s why it’s crucial for a company’s IT department to establish a disaster recovery plan that defines how data will be protected and the business will restore its operation following a disruption.
Part of risk assessment should be devoted to identifying and monitoring high-risk concerns for the organization. These risks can involve everything from embezzlement to mistreatment of co-workers. By tracking incidents, undesirable employee behavior can be kept under control. Monitoring employee behavior helps prevent lawsuits resulting from conflicts between employees.
Another part of risk assessment is doing proper background checks when forming new business partners. You likely don’t want to be associated with a company that has a history of unresolved issues regarding reputation or government compliance. By not rushing into business relationships and checking with authoritative sources, you will be able to screen partners effectively. You certainly want to carefully screen partners that will have access to sensitive information and have them sign confidentiality agreements.
The key to developing strong risk management is to establish a corporate compliance strategy that is communicated throughout the staff. There should be a clear system in place that deals with ethics or policy violations. Risks increase without this communication and commitment from staff members to meet corporate compliance.
Auditing and Management Analysis
Conducting audits of your workforce will allow you to correct problems in real time and keep them from spiraling out of control. Auditing gives you a snapshot of data on employees to measure productivity and ensure they are following policies correctly. An audit, for example, can reveal which employees have downloaded porn or illegal content on their devices. This activity can reflect negatively on a company or employee if insiders leak the information on social media.
Due to the popularity of social media, many companies now restrict employees from visiting social networks at work unless it’s part of their job description. Audits can identify which employees are wasting time on social media instead of focusing on work. Audits can also reveal if employees are using company email for private use.
While monitoring is more of an ongoing process, an audit is more of a limited process that targets specific information. It can help you make decisions about immediate problems. Together, monitoring and auditing comprise oversight, which will ensure your company meets corporate compliance.
Issues of corporate compliance should be addressed regularly at board meetings. It’s part of the role of board members to ensure that compliance policies are met. The board must actively participate in not only finding out about compliance violations, but also resolving these issues. It’s helpful if an ethics committee reports to the board.
Ultimately, board members are responsible for a company’s success or failure. So they must routinely stay on top of government and industry news. When a sector becomes consistently embroiled in scandals, it can lead to stricter government regulations. It’s up to company leaders to regulate themselves so that the government can worry about other matters.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an emerging term that many firms take seriously. As a proactive stance and gesture to demonstrate corporate compliance to stakeholders, many firms now issue annual CSR reports. These reports provide detailed information that shows the company is paying attention to issues such as workplace diversity, environmental safety, workplace safety and steps the company is taking to help the community.
Following best practices for corporate compliance should be a top priority for every business.