6 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Culture Through Compliance

HR leaders meeting

Compliance and culture aren’t mutually exclusive. They’re interconnected and reinforcing.

To set your business up for success, it’s critical to develop a cohesive culture and compliance strategy. As a result, you’ll inspire efficiency and maintain steady growth without fear of fines or loss. 

So, where should you focus your efforts and what actions should you take to maintain or build a healthy culture through compliance? Here are six steps. 

1. Lead by example

HR professionals play a critical role in shaping organizational culture and promoting compliance. To be effective leaders in this regard, they must lead by example. This means consistently demonstrating the behaviors and values they want to instill in the organization.

To build a positive culture:

  • Foster inclusivity. HR leaders should actively promote inclusivity and diversity within the organization. This includes creating equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of their background or identity.
  • Encourage open and honest communication. HR professionals should actively listen to employees, address their concerns, and provide feedback in a constructive and empathetic manner.
  • Recognize and appreciate employees’ contributions regularly. Acknowledging and rewarding hard work and achievements can boost morale and reinforce positive behaviors.

For HR Compliance:

  • Stay informed. Continuously educate yourself and your team about relevant laws and regulations. Attend training sessions and seminars to stay up to date on changes in employment laws and compliance requirements.
  • Set clear policies. Establish clear and comprehensive HR policies and procedures that align with legal requirements. Ensure that employees are aware of these policies and provide training on them as needed.
  • Be consistent: Apply policies and procedures consistently across the organization. Inconsistencies in how rules are enforced can lead to legal issues and undermine trust.
2. Train and educate

Education is a cornerstone of both compliance and culture building. HR professionals should invest in ongoing training and education programs to equip employees and leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in these areas.

To build a positive culture:

  • Cultural onboarding. Implement a robust cultural onboarding process for new employees. This should include introducing them to the organization’s values, mission, and expected behaviors.
  • Leadership development. Provide leadership development programs that emphasize the importance of fostering a positive culture. Equip leaders with the skills to lead by example and promote a healthy work environment.
  • Diversity and inclusion training: Offer training on diversity, equity, and inclusion to raise awareness and promote respectful interactions among employees.

For HR compliance:

  • Compliance training. Regularly conduct compliance training for all employees, with a particular focus on managers and supervisors. Ensure they understand the legal implications of their actions and decisions.
  • Data privacy training: If applicable, provide training on data privacy regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA. Employees who handle sensitive data must be well-versed in data protection requirements.
  • Whistleblower programs: Establish clear procedures and channels for reporting compliance violations or unethical behavior. Train employees on how to use these channels while protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.
3. Measure and adapt

To continuously improve compliance efforts and culture, HR professionals must measure their impact and be willing to adapt strategies as needed.

To build a positive culture:

  • Employee surveys: Conduct regular employee engagement and satisfaction surveys to gauge the state of the culture. Use the feedback to identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs): Define KPIs related to culture, such as turnover rates, employee referrals, and participation in cultural initiatives. Monitor these metrics to assess the effectiveness of culture-building efforts.
  • Feedback loops: Establish feedback mechanisms that allow employees to provide input on cultural initiatives and improvements. Act on this feedback to demonstrate a commitment to positive change.

For HR compliance:

  • Audit and assessments: Conduct regular internal audits and compliance assessments to identify potential risks and areas of non-compliance. Use the findings to make necessary adjustments to policies and practices.
  • Legal updates: Stay vigilant about changes in employment laws and regulations. When new laws are enacted or existing ones are updated, adapt your compliance strategies accordingly.
  • Incident response plans: Develop and test incident response plans for potential compliance breaches. Having a plan in place can minimize the impact of a compliance violation and demonstrate a commitment to rectifying the situation.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

It’s important to accept the fact this will always be a moving target. So, to be effective within our business, we can’t let fear diminish our ability to grow as an organization. Ask for help. Before reaching out to your general counsel, start with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor and your state and local DOL, and the Society for Human Resource Management

Sign up for newsletters on compliance, and participate in a professional network of similar roles, businesses, and industries. If you’re lucky, make a friend who is a lawyer!

Ask for help. We can’t let fear diminish our ability to grow as an organization.

5. Be proactive in your compliance journey.

Compliance is a “what if” game where the rules/legislation are laid out for you. You must share those rules across the organization to ensure your people understand the impact of their actions. Do regular check-ins to ensure your people are acting on the policies you create. This also means having the tools and technology to maintain protocol and efficiency. HCM solutions with built-in artificial intelligence can provide prescriptive recommendations so your people can focus on doing the job you hired them to do while constantly improving.

6. Find true partnerships and build a support network.

It’s pertinent to your business success to help those working inside your organization to understand the risk within their position. By sharing the reason “why” your organization focuses on limiting compliance violationsyou can then train your people leaders to effectively identify future risks.

For example, understanding how compliance increases long-term employee engagement, provides a safe workplace, maintains a healthy brand reputation, and boosts the bottom-line will help employees sustain a positive work environment.

The right technology can help

Using reliable, accurate data to make decisions about your employment law is critical to maintaining a positive workplace culture.  

Without it, you’ll likely face complex, time-consuming manual processes to meet regulatory standards, which can expose your company to risk when even the smallest errors slip through. 

Learn how UKG Ready for Compliance gives you a single source of truth and automatically delivers the data you need so you can manage compliance and create an even better workplace for your people. 

View Now: UKG Ready for Compliance [Free Demo]