Ten tips to create a culture of compliance

By Categories: CompliancePublished On: 10 April 2024

A culture of compliance is something we believe all financial services organisations should aspire to.  Not only does it ensure your business stays on the right side of the law, a culture of compliance can inspire innovation, encourage accountability, build confidence and lead to better customer outcomes. Creating a culture of compliance involves fostering an environment where employees understand, prioritise, and adhere to regulatory requirements, ethical standards, and company policies.

Here are our top ten tips to help you establish a culture of compliance within your organisation:

  1. Lead by Example: Leadership sets the tone for the an organisation’s culture. Executives and managers need to “walk the talk”. It’s one thing to say you value compliance, it’s far more powerful to demonstrate your commitment to compliance. This includes adhering to all relevant laws, regulations, and company policies, and being accountable.
  2. Establish Clear Policies and Procedures: Develop comprehensive policies and procedures that outline expected behaviours, ethical standards, and regulatory requirements. Ensure that these policies are communicated effectively to all employees and are easily accessible for reference.
  3. Provide Training and Education: Conduct regular compliance training and education programs to ensure that employees understand their responsibilities and the consequences of non-compliance. Training should be tailored to employees’ roles and should cover relevant, industry-specific issues – such as privacy and data protection, breach-reporting, anti-bullying and harassment, and codes of practice.
  4. Conduct Regular Audits and Reviews: Compliance is not a “set and forget” exercise. Implement regular audits and reviews to assess compliance with policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements. Use the findings from these audits to identify areas for improvement and implement corrective actions as needed.
  5. Stay Up-to-Date with Regulatory Changes: It’s no secret that the financial services landscape changes regularly. Make sure your leaders are kept up-to-date with changes in laws, regulations, and industry standards. Ensure any changes are filtered down through the organisation, via updated policies, procedures, and training programs.
  6. Recognise and Reward Compliance: Compliance should not be something to be feared. Acknowledge and reward employees who demonstrate a commitment to compliance and ethical behaviour. This could be through recognition programs, performance evaluations, or other incentives that reinforce positive behaviour.
  7. Integrate Compliance into Business Processes: Ensure that compliance is not seen as a separate function but rather as an integral part of how the organisation operates by embedding compliance considerations into everyday business processes and decision-making.
  8. Foster Accountability: Fostering accountability is more than just assigning responsibility for key tasks. All employees need to know that the organisation is prepared to act if the accountable person should fail in their responsibilities. This could include remedial training or other appropriate measures.
  9. Promote Open Communication with Leadership: Encourage ethical leadership behaviours such as integrity, honesty, fairness, and transparency at all levels of the organisation. Ensure employees have open channels of communication through which to raise concerns or report compliance breaches.
  10. Celebrate Successes: Expand what is viewed as a positive business achievement to focus on more than just financial success. Celebrate compliance milestones such as passing an audit or achieving a breach-free month. This reinforces the importance of compliance and encourages continued commitment from employees.

By making compliance a priority across all levels of the organisation, you can create a culture where compliance is suffused throughout the company’s values and behaviours.

Your journey to compliance excellence starts here: With increasing demand for regulatory compliance, Financial Education Professionals has released an engaging suite of training modules designed to meet organisational compliance and conduct requirements.