I recently attended the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics’ annual Compliance and Ethics Institute in Chicago – a phenomenal event for me since I focus on helping companies understand the tools that can propel their compliance efforts while supporting overall business strategies. I was especially pleased to present with my colleagues from ArcelorMittal USA and Cameo Advisory Group on the topic of engaging the evolving workforce in compliance. We had several hundred attendees eager to hear why considerations such as mobility and social media are so important in compliance. For me, the high turnout and engaged audience highlighted the relevance and urgency of this topic to many companies.
So how is the workforce changing? Pew Research Center cites that millennials (which roughly means people born in the 1980s and 1990s) have now surpassed Gen-Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force. In fact, in 2015 more than 1 in 3 U.S. workers were millennials. Also, there are now more workers remaining in the workforce after the age of 65 than ever before. In addition, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the white portion of the working age population in the U.S. is declining, while the portion of people of color is increasing - and this trend is projected to continue.
As you may already be very well aware, these changes in the workforce present many new challenges for corporate compliance and HR professionals in reaching and engaging their employees. For example, compliance audiences are multi-generational, increasingly ethnically diverse, work globally, and have differing technology adoption-levels. To respond to this successfully, companies need to evolve how to present compliance content, the formats used, communication styles, and delivery channels and tools. Additionally, with multinational workplaces, wide-ranging locations of workers, and constant M&A activities, reaching and engaging our audiences is a completely different proposition than in years past.
At Wolters Kluwer, we work with companies around the globe to meet these challenges by leveraging technology to support driving compliance engagement. So what are the most important things you should consider from a technology standpoint? First and foremost, mobility – technology tools with mobile capabilities will allow your audiences to easily engage in compliance activities from anywhere and using any device. The technology tools you adopt should be built to be optimized on all types of mobile devices to support user preference and ease of engagement.
We recommend that you to provide your employees and third parties with access to a secure, easy to use portal to engage in compliance. This compliance portal should facilitate real-time/on-demand push and pull of compliance content – for example, for audience members to access your most current policies and to complete attestations. You can also encourage and collect feedback from users via Q&A, comments, and surveys within the portal, which will facilitate ongoing, continuous engagement in compliance. The most effective tools will also integrate “social” and gaming elements to drive participation and excitement.
In addition, effective reporting tools will provide compliance engagement assessment data – for example, for you to understand the number of audience members who are accessing, reading, and attesting to your policies. This key information will help you understand the level of engagement by your audiences, assess your strategies, and drive continuous evolution of your programs.
Lastly, we suggest you start with short- and long-term technology adoption plans, building on any tools your company already has in place. This makes it key to choose technology tools that are platform-based, easily integrate with your existing tools, and that can be built upon as your business needs grow and budget allows.
At Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions we have an industry-recognized GRC platform solution, Passport® GRC, which includes all the key features and functionality we’ve discussed here to support engaging your evolving audiences in compliance. We’d love to talk with you more about your challenges in this area and how we can help – please click here to request a demo of Passport GRC or visit the Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions website to learn more.