More success in compliance communication
Compliance communication: In this blog series we deal with the legally compliant and efficient communication of company regulations to employees based on our C2S2 Rulebook Policy Lifecycle. The following blog post deals with the topic of Promote and answers the question “How do I achieve more success in compliance communication?
In the last blog post in this series, we looked at the question of how corporate guidelines can be created in an understandable, consistent and legally compliant manner. Now that the regulations have been drawn up as described there, the next step is to communicate the corporate guidelines to the employees.
With this blog post we aim to provide you with information on the two main aspects of compliance communication:
- the legally compliant and appropriate communication of new and amended regulations and
- creating awareness of rules of conduct among your employees and showing solutions for concrete decision-making situations
For this purpose, it is useful to distinguish between the so-called push and pull communication. Push communication describes the active communication of content in order to reach employees in the work process and to draw their attention to changes or innovations. Pull communication, on the other hand, is the active search or request of employees in concrete situations. This also includes ad hoc occasions, e.g. IT failures or current crisis situations such as dealing with COVID-19. The crisis communication required here contributes to the so-called corporate resilience, which has the goal of ensuring that the company quickly returns to a normal state in compliance with the regulatory framework. Good compliance communication is a prerequisite for this.
However, there are countless policies and guidelines and, in addition, new ones are regularly added or existing ones change. How can you still reach your employees and generate relevance?
It is understandably difficult for employees to find their way through the vast mass of corporate regulations. Similarly, not all of them may have the intrinsic motivation to keep themselves up to date on such regulation issues, or they may simply lack the time capacity to do so.
Of course, the departments issuing the regulations do not want such important information to be lost in a flood of e-mails and not be noticed or to appear only in a corner of the intranet that hardly anyone clicks on.
This is precisely why in the following we would like to provide you with some assistance to help you communicate company regulations efficiently to your employees, so that you can create transparency for these topics in your company when the need arises and provide a recommendation for action in the concrete decision-making situation of the employee.
As can be seen in the following diagram, there are many divisions of the company that set regulations. The Legal and Compliance department is of course one of them, but it is only one part of the whole picture:
The Rulebook offers a “single point of truth” here, i.e. a contact point for questions on regulations from all departments and specialist areas. No matter from which department communication takes place, the employee has a central contact point and no longer has to search in many different places. This means that he or she receives the appropriate guidance directly and thus, cross-regulation compliance communication is ensured.
Communicate new or amended regulations in a legally compliant manner
For successful compliance communication, it is important that new and amended regulations are communicated to employees in a legally compliant manner. Especially the small but important changes are often not sufficiently noticed by the employees. It is therefore important to find ways of attracting more attention.
Due to the increasing use of messenger services in companies, they offer a suitable possibility for internal compliance communication. Not only can you use them to chat with colleagues, but you can also directly integrate a Compliance Digital Agent Service such as our RuleBot. In this way, employees do not have to change the application or register on another portal. Changes can be easily displayed there via notification icons, just like with any other chat message. Furthermore, in these messenger services such as Slack or MS Teams, separate channels or groups can be created for any topics and departments, which employees can join and exchange information with. If there are new messages or notifications in a category, this can be quickly recognized by push notifications or other visual highlights.
The company’s own blog can also repeatedly pick up and report on topics and issues relevant to compliance communication. Many companies also send out internal newsletters at regular intervals. Here, too, one topic per newsletter can easily be picked up.
However, not only this “incidental”, passive push communication is important for compliance communication. Rather, two levels are of great importance:
- the communication to the managers
- the communication of the managers to their employees
It is therefore important that the relevance of the regulations is communicated to managers so that they actively convey the contents. They have to reach their own employees specifically with the topics that are important in their team.
Here, the rulebook offers the opportunity to make use of use cases (question/answer combinations) in the Team Jour Fixe to show examples of the concrete situations in which rule changes in everyday work are relevant for the team. In this way, you can “take employees by the hand”, lead them to the digital rulebook and demonstrate how they can set bookmarks in the browser for the most important topics, for example, so that they can always find them quickly:
You can bookmark your Top Use Cases and easily access them at any time with just two mouse clicks. These bookmarks of use cases remain valid regardless of their content, even if changes are made, so that up-to-date and relevant compliance communication is always guaranteed.
Create awareness for the topic and show solutions
Now that it has been ensured that new or amended regulations are communicated in a legally compliant and efficient manner as a first step, it is just as important to continuously create awareness and transparency in the workforce regarding the framework of conduct within the company.
Here it is important to cleverly combine the various communication channels and media: digital, print and in person.
In the intranet there is the possibility to work with banners. There are different variants available. On the one hand, the creation of attention through slogans that make the employee curious about what is behind them. This type of pull communication could look like this:
Behind the slogan a link is placed which leads to the concrete use case in the rulebook. There, the user receives information on this topic and concrete recommendations for action, and at the same time has access to the relevant guideline documents in full text version.
Another possibility to use banners in the intranet are topic-related campaigns from the employee’s work context:
Shown here is a multiple choice question on a currently relevant topic. Like in a quiz show, it is possible to “guess” and after clicking on the chosen answer, the employee is informed whether his intuition was right or not. In this way he is subconsciously and sustainably “trained” on specific topics. This supply of information controlled by the employee himself is an important aspect of pull communication. For this purpose, the rulebook can be integrated not only into the intranet, but into any website, so that the digital assistant is always at the employee’s side.
There are many opportunities for successful compliance communication, not only online but also in print. For example, you can publish an article or even a column – if available – in the employee magazine. There, relevant topics can be presented regularly and, at best, linked to current events and happenings in business and/or politics. The topicality ensures not only the relevance of your compliance communication, but also captures the interest of your employees. By publishing these articles regularly, you ensure lasting awareness.
Another option is a push campaign with postcards, such as this one:
The slogan on the card arouses curiosity and interest, so that employees are encouraged to deal with the question and receive the answer through the illustrated QR Code, which leads to the relevant topic/answer page. It is important to distribute or display the postcards in a central and highly frequented place, such as a notice board. This ensures that your campaign is noticed by as many people as possible. The same principle can also be used for posters or billboards or, in combination with digital media, these themes can be placed on the screen which is now present in many companies at the canteen entrance or in a lounge.
In interaction with the media presented, the parallel face-to-face communication, i.e. the personal passing on of information face to face, is becoming increasingly important. This includes everything that involves the direct oral exchange of information.
You can also include the communication of regulations as a general agenda item in the agenda of the team meetings and thus not deter the employees with a flood of information, but rather point it out bit by bit, as in so-called microlearning. Because if employees are flooded with information, they automatically switch off and no longer take in any information.
For effective communication, it is always advisable for this to take place at a certain personal level. In concrete terms, this means that it is helpful to appoint a person responsible for compliance communication within the various departments. This person can pick up on current regulatory issues, highlight their added value for colleagues and thus guide users to the Rulebook service.
However, it is also important to maintain this personal component of compliance communication outside the office environment. For example, at face-to-face events such as seminars or conferences.
At such events, there is room for more interactive formats. One of those could be a game or a quiz. Questions from company regulations can be asked here at any regular intervals. The solutions in the Rulebook are hidden behind a QR Code. For a little more excitement, you can run the quiz format like a raffle, and thus create a loosening up in an otherwise rather sober daily agenda. In this way the ambition of the participants is sparked and in order to win, they are sufficiently motivated to deal with the Rulebook content.
This is also a good way to involve employees in the preparation and follow-up work, where they can submit their own suggestions for the next topics or quiz questions that they consider relevant. After all, everyone has probably already experienced that colleagues from other departments ask directly by e-mail or telephone about the most “banal” topics, instead of dealing with them themselves.
Another possibility is offered by so-called black stories. Here, the regulatory departments can anonymously present real cases from the company in which there was misconduct or something went wrong. This is done within the framework of a story, at the end of which the listening colleagues are then allowed to make suggestions as to how this dilemma could have been solved.
Larger congresses or seminars also offer an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the regulatory issues through stands. Here you can see an example of what this could look like:
Here, employees can try out the Rulebook in a playful manner directly at the booth and are thus well prepared to use it in their everyday work. In this way, their original fear of contact and uncertainty is taken away.
Conclusion for the Compliance Communication
It is obvious that the forms of communication presented – push and pull – as well as the different formats – digital, print, and personal – are merging more and more. With suitable digital solutions it is possible that these worlds will continue to merge and create a lot of added value. And we believe that the C2S2 Rulebook is a decisive step in exactly this direction.