Management and human resources love to talk about workplace compliance, but it’s not exactly the easiest topic to understand. Regulatory compliance means your employees have undergone the right training on a wide range of compliance topics, such as occupational safety, data privacy, harassment, and so on.
Companies have to comply with a laundry list of federal laws and state regulations to stay in business, and compliance training helps protect both the company and the employee from potential issues. For instance, the absence of occupational safety training will inevitably result in long-term disability claims.
However, it’s not enough to organize a few training sessions and call it a day. Employees should always be careful about their words and actions around their colleagues. The management also needs to foster a culture of compliance in the workplace. Here are a few things you can do to improve regulatory compliance for your business.
The fish rots from the head, and if the management shows a cavalier attitude towards workplace compliance, then you can’t expect the employees to do the same. Management should demonstrate accountability to encourage professional behavior in the workplace.
It can be as simple as acknowledging past mistakes and initiating workplace reforms to ensure continued compliance. If everyone knows what behaviors are unacceptable, they can then take the necessary actions to correct things.
Go to the root of the problem
Telling your employees to avoid doing this, and that can take you only so far. You need to make them understand why specific actions and behaviors are unacceptable. If you provide a rationale for the rules, your employees are more likely to follow them.
Let’s say you manage a workshop. As the manager, it’s your job to remind your employees that they should keep their workstations clean. You can also say that if the workplace is messy and full of clutter, someone could trip and get injured. If your employees understand why and how accidents happen, there’s a higher chance of preventing it from occurring.
Focus on corrective and preemptive behavior
Compliance training shouldn’t focus on what one shouldn’t do, but on the best practices and standards to follow instead. But giving your employees something concrete to work with, you can improve compliance and change harmful behaviors quickly.
The more specific the directive, the better. Instead of telling your employees vague safety statements, you could require them to wear personal protective gear such as helmets and eye goggles for specific scenarios such as working with machinery.
Some employees are afraid of bringing up workplace issues for fear of reprisal. You should foster a culture of open communication to ensure that all negative behaviors are identified right away.
You can facilitate open communication through regular one-on-one meetings and confidential message boxes. If possible, have a neutral party investigate any claims made during these meetings.
These are just some of the strategies you can apply to your business to improve workplace compliance. The management must lead by example and foster a culture of openness and communication to bring bad behaviors to light. Training must also be focused on concrete behavior instead of vague statements and general rules.