Every organisation has a group of people in roles that can be broadly classified as compliance roles.
They oversee the various pieces of legislation, policies and procedures that must be adhered to for the organisation to operate in a particular market.
For example, most mining organisations have strict environmental compliance requirements, health care organisations have infection control specifications and publicly listed organisations have stock exchange and reporting disclosure regulations.
Invariably, these are thankless jobs. Other staff bemoan the restrictions placed on their activities and ridicule the rules which have been imposed by outside regulators.
However, the compliance team deserves much more respect, attention and support. Without them, the organisation loses its licence to operate. Without them, the organisation goes broke or the Directors and senior managers go to jail. Without them, employees get injured or lose their livelihoods.
So rather than treating the compliance team as a group that can be largely ignored unless something goes wrong, it may be timely for you to embrace them and their expertise.
How could you elevate their importance in your team or give them a chance to shine? Could you find a way to embed compliance requirements into the work of your team to enhance performance rather than perceive the regulations as a hindrance or barrier to progress?
How can the compliance team help themselves in this process? They can change their language away from a policing position towards an organisational enabler.
The key for the compliance team is to try to explain the “Why” of the compliance requirement rather than just quote the relevant clause in the Act.
If the employees have some sense of why a particular piece of legislation is in place and the motives behind it, then everyone is more likely to comply.
One more small step in the next 24 hours
Meet with your compliance team. Start by saying “Thank you” for their great work in keeping everyone informed of the rules and regulations.
You will immediately have them in a positive frame of mind because you will be the first person to have ever said thank you to them.
Ask them to join your next team meeting and share a small part of the regulatory framework under which the organisation operates and test them to explain the “Why” of the rules in a language everyone on the team will understand.
At the end of the presentation, encourage your team to support the efforts of the compliance team, if for no other reason than you can’t operate without them.
What impact could this action have on your leadership success?
How likely is it you could implement this action successfully?