Every Human Resource professional hires, manages staff, and makes decisions within the organization based on performance and employee conduct. One of the most challenging aspects of managing teams is facing the establishment and maintenance of corporate compliance guidelines that not only protect the company from being penalized by governing entities, but also provides a means of obeying well-defined standards. (http://fcpacompliancereport.com/2017/05/day-1-one-month-better-compliance-hr-role-hr-operationalizing-compliance/)
When analyzing compliance reports, managers expect to have a high rating of staff willing and able to meet the company’s behavioral standards. Organizational growth, product or service changes, leadership turn-overs, and industry updates are all examples of factors that influence how HR managers resolve employee challenges in doing so. Experiencing failing numbers of team members unable or unwilling to abide by compliance standards is disappointing and can result in culture shifts within organizations that degrade team and leadership attitudes.
During the company’s growth phase, compliance priorities can become less important and in some instances altogether overlooked. The areas where compliance is likely to be challenged during growth are retirement requirements, work hours, and compensation. The need to generate revenue to cover all operating and staffing expenses during this time tend to overshadow the attention paid to employee-related compliance.
High leadership turnover affects the operations and company functions throughout, but safety impacts can threaten organizational longevity. Toxic environments created by leadership turnover rates have a higher risk rating and is contrary to safety being a top human resource management priority. Amtrak is a corporation who was unfortunate enough to experience a breach in safety due to high leadership turnover and is a prime example of why organizations need to do their very best to retain good and consistent quality talent in leadership. (https://www.tlnt.com/how-frequent-turnover-in-top-leadership-can-turn-an-organization-toxic/)
Emerging technology and other innovation in business have drastically influenced the complexity of industrial regulations. Keeping up with guidelines and especially in global markets, updating internal regulatory standards can be difficult to manage. Ignoring the need to communicate a path of success to staff on complying with revised industry standards can be costly in both resources and time.
Innovation can disrupt operations due to industry revisions that render services and/or products obsolete. As evolving technology results in rapid business model changes, companies struggle to keep with compliance standards during the implementation phase. Many organizations lack rapid response processes that provide agile adjustments to revisions that complement emerging markets and risks involved. (http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/the-top-risks-for-2017/)
Compliance managers should take grave and careful consideration of solutions as they relate to employee conduct to avoid smaller issues potentially culminating and spinning out of control. Every business owner and corporation wants to avoid taking the time and spending the money to restore healthy operational levels to a dysfunctional team. Fortunately, there are key strategies that employers can use to mitigate compliance risks without compromising the sanity of both leadership and staff.
Subscribing to regulatory updates as well as monitoring trends within the company to detect reoccurring compliance risks can help to highlight solutions. For instance, assessing that one department (in particular) is experiencing continual failures in compliance standards can indicate that a department-wide training is necessary, giving Human Resource and Compliance Managers insight into training new employees accordingly. Existing employees, including top-level leadership, should be frequently trained, especially since violation penalties tend to cost more when committed by senior level team members.
It’s important to routinely survey team members and encourage all employees from entry-level to executive team members to contribute to understanding the compliance risks within the company. Limiting contributions to decision makers leaves the organization vulnerable to misunderstanding the processes necessary to complete tasks promptly while remaining within regulatory standards. On the other hand, leaving staff to contribute mitigation strategies ignores the need for leaders to understand how to adjust their management practices in supporting the productivity and progress they expect their teams to achieve.
Publishing compliance information that is free from convolution and contradictions will minimize continual instances of staff misunderstanding what they must do to comply with company regulatory standards. According to the US Department of Health, the code of conduct guide given to staff should be written at no higher than a tenth-grade reading level. (https://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/101/files/HCCA-OIG-Resource-Guide.pdf). HR managers and leaders should be patient and available to translate guidelines or provide a person to person breakdown of what isn’t clear upon reading the published information.
Corporate Counsel and HR managers are the leading team members in filtering operational regulations from governing entities to staff and therefore need to have a seamless communication process between the two departments. Digital platforms accessible by both aid in accessing and updating information before it’s distributed and disseminated. A document management platform where simultaneous updating and editing of material is recommended so that changes and versions are not lost or become difficult to manage.
Organizations that have total team incentives tied to compliance rates have an easier time engaging staff in the regulatory process. The company’s legal staff has a significant role in validating incentives, ensuring that they are free from ethical conflicts and risks that could jeopardize the organization’s obedience to employment laws. Consider incentives that are not tied to reporting levels or years of service with the company so that everyone on the team feels appreciated when complying with corporate conduct standards.
Compliance frameworks that integrate assessment of the legal risks, focus on monitoring staff routines, and improve as the company expands are contained within the model organizations to emulate. Ensure that regulatory guidance is enterprise-wide and that routine compliance management is not localized to certain report levels or job descriptions. Observance of clearly defined mandates handed down from top leadership throughout the organization relieves operational managers to focus on maintaining productivity standards that keep the company in business. Employee conduct and corporate compliance specialists can assist organizations in auditing their regulatory standards. Despite the many challenges that Human Resource professionals face, no company should delay in bringing compliance standards up to acceptable levels and beyond.
WORKPLACE COMPLIANCE – THE CHALLENGES
Workplace compliance is an essential functional aspect for all organizations that often stays neglected. Especially in the business sphere, organizations in the rat race of competition and making profits tend to miss out on keeping up with rules of compliance pertaining to various functions and operations of the business.
Few organizations pay due heed to comply with the rules and legal procedures while others keep it postponed until a lawsuit or a major compliance issue arises. Here’s an overview of the compliance issues and challenges that will be faced by organizations in 2017.
Remote workstations are on the rise and many organizations are offering a certain extent of flexibility in the job roles and work designs, making them more employee-oriented. While telecommuting and remote working has brought about immense benefits for the organizations, it has also complicated the matter of being compliant. Considering the local rules and labor laws that vary from state-to-state, it will be quite a feat for organizations to manage a workforce that is legally bound by different state rules.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case has legalized homosexual marriages in all states. As an implication of this law, it is now imperative upon the organization to revise their policies, especially those pertaining to equal employment and perks and benefits related to spouses and families.
Biases against LGBT
Due to the revised minimum wage standards and redefined requisites for overtime qualifications, the organizations will have to review and revise the exempt and non-exempt classification of employees. In addition to this, the revised set of policies has made it extremely difficult for the employees to clearly differentiate between employees and independent contractors. They will still have to swallow the frog as the improper classification and poor categorization would directly affect the compensation plans, tax nets, and medical and family leave acts and might impose a penalty or lawsuit upon the organization.
Wage and Hour Evaluations
The redefined requisites for overtime qualifications, especially at the white-collar tier of the organization, will make it a matter of a huge concern for the organizations to keep an accurate record of the working hours and break periods and to redefine their definition of ‘functional’ hours.
The revised policies and the diverse workforce which are situated in different states and bound by different rules will make it a real test of strengths for the management to maintain an accurate and law-compliant record of wage and hours against each individual employee. Therefore, a smart approach to an accurate wage and hour recording and evaluation is to automate these key functions through tech-based applications, such as a Time and Attendance System.