Training can make huge differences to staff satisfaction and business efficiency. Legal and compliance consultant Salima Nanji offers her top three tips for directors
Working as a legal and compliance professional over the past 10 years, one of my key responsibilities has been to give advice and support to directors on how they can create a culture which ensures the integrity of the financial market is preserved.
As a director your input is essential; you will with the board develop a tone from the top. Directors must lead by example and back up compliance and risk policies by ensuring that their compliance and legal representative is a valued senior member of their team.
Here I share three tips on how that culture is created and maintained:
Training is essential for your broader staff to stay abreast of rules and regulations. Employees who are even minimally trained to be able to review contracts, and compliance officers who are able to perform customer due diligence, are invaluable.
In my experience, many companies tend to provide the traditional training approach, which usually means ‘death by PowerPoint’. This type of training is not engaging and does not build upon the competitive nature of people. Through a variety of innovative training solutions the market is trying hard to meet this deficiency.
For example, anti-money-laundering training to familiarise employees with the process becomes a quiz where participants are awarded points and a leader’s board shows each person’s standing. This new training is based on ‘gamification’ – that is, the application of point-scoring and competition to maximise engagement and ultimately learning. The most engaging training is based on true real-world scenarios that allow the user to explore and discover the correct solution through active learning.
In my experience these learning aids easily become part of the natural workflow of employees, enhancing their productivity, increasing learning, reducing risk and creating tangible gains for employees and their organisations.
As the volume and scope of compliance and regulations grow exponentially companies need to embrace technology. Fortunately, this growth happens to coincide with the emergence and maturity of a number of technologies labelled ‘RegTech’; these refer to technologies that encompass innovations that can be applied to, or used in, regulation, typically to improve efficiency and transparency.
According to the Law Society Gazette, up to 80 per cent of basic legal work can be automated. Regulators and firms are more open than ever to innovative ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs; therein lies a huge opportunity and challenge for companies that can demonstrate their tech credentials and manage the consequence on their employees.
Link training with appraisals and bonuses
A strategic plan to link the objectives of individual employees with the organisation’s compliance mission is paramount. In my experience the most powerful way to ensure employees follow compliance processes and regulations is to monitor, measure and report their adherence and then link their results to performance reviews.
This sends out a loud and clear message that rewards and promotions are connected with compliance work ethics. And those employees who don’t adhere to the company’s compliance culture will be penalised. The employee has a clear understanding of how they individually contribute to the compliance culture of the company and can benefit from it.
Salima Nanji is a member of the IoD.