I received a call from my mother-in-law yesterday. She wanted to know if we were planning to come over for Thanksgiving. Not unusual. But the conversation that followed was so…2020. Upon my affirmation of ‘yes’ (we would never miss her cooking and company!), she proceeded to lay out her COVID-19 friendly Thanksgiving Strategy, centered around our family self-quarantining from now until then if we wished to enter her home:
“You know, outside of trips to the market” she said.
“Makes sense, absolutely!” I responded.
While we are 100% on board with her request and already adhere to mask and social distance guidelines, it got me thinking—how would my mother-in-law know that we actually quarantined? After all, we live in San Diego and she’s 75 miles up the road. If we mostly did the right thing, it should be fine, right?
These days, conduct risk is a lot like this. We give employees expectations and hope they follow our guidance. But how do we really know employees are making good decisions in their day-to-day, especially now that many of us are still in remote work environments?
I think the answer is fairly obvious. We don’t. We can’t be everywhere at every time. But if we think we can just ship out training once a year and hope everyone follows policy and acts ethically, we should think about a career change. We need a plan. We have to understand how our employees can get into trouble based on what they’ve been hired to do – and give them prescriptive guidance that relates to…them. We have to continuously drip awareness, tools, and resources to our employees that helps them understand the culture of compliance, but the consequences of non-compliance. We can’t stick our head in the sand and blame a pandemic.
Our workforce isn’t made up of a bunch of programmable robots. We need to distill down the compliance speak and make sure we are really reaching people. That means we must continually seek to understand whether we’re impacting our employee population by evaluating data sources across our organization – not just the data we collect. If all this sounds like a lot, it is. But that’s okay, there are easy steps to take to start on this journey, and as we are all in the midst of 2021 planning, there’s no better time than the present to take those steps. I gladly schedule planning sessions to discuss micro and macro approaches to evolving compliance programs…just fill out a form below and I will be in touch.
And if you are not quite ready to take the leap on evolving your compliance program, I am also accepting green bean casserole recipes that my mother-in-law will approve of.