The Ten Biggest Mistakes Made by Compliance Professionals

May 15th, 2020

Mistakes Compliance Professionals Make During a Crisis, and How to Avoid Them

In times of crisis and normality, it’s common to make mistakes that can damage the business, your career, and the compliance program without even knowing you’re doing it. In this fast-paced webinar, we’ll reveal the top ten mistakes people in compliance make, and the actions to take to avoid them. You’ll discover:

  • The biggest mistakes compliance officers make in a crisis
  • How to avoid alienating the business, and implement easy wins that can make a huge difference to the compliance program and your career
  • How to stop being myopic and look at the big picture in a way that influences management

In this difficult time, it’s more important than ever to do your best work to secure your position and the program. Watch the webinar below to discover the top ten mistakes made, and how to avoid them.

Section 1: Responding to Crisis

First Mistake: Not updating the risk assessment when a crisis hits or the business significantly changes.

Action: Think through all of the new risks. Now – data privacy risk is very high, fraud and bribery risk will go up with the unemployment issues. People will become desperate. Update the assessment to reallocate resources to deal with this.

Second Mistake: Not preparing your persuasion plan to defend compliance effort’s in the immediate aftermath of COVID 19.

Action: Become educated about the effect previous economic crises have had on businesses and prosecutions from bribery, fraud, anti-trust, trade sanction, and data privacy perspective. Be prepared to make your case for continued funding, attention, and resources.

Third Mistake: Not planning now for potential layoffs.

Action: Build your network, talk to your friends, go to conferences when they come back, participate in LinkedIn discussions, write, speak, etc. Your network will rescue you if you’re laid off.

Section 2: Easy Wins

Fourth Mistake: Not using the business’ language (their vernacular/lexicon), and not writing and speaking at the reading level of the majority of the workforce.

Action: Pay attention to the word choice of the employees. Do they call the workplace a “business,” “company,” “firm,” or “shop”? Use their words. Check your communications for clarity, readability, and reading level.

Fifth Mistake: Not tying activities to business objectives.

Action: Put all activities in the context of the business goals. Revamp your goals and KPIs to mirror the business’ goals for the year.

Sixth Mistake: Not defining the scope of the Compliance department’s responsibility.

Action: Try to get a formal charter drafted explaining the domain of compliance’s responsibilities. E.g., bribery, trade sanctions, third-party due diligence and responding to whistle-blower complaints. If you can’t get a charter, try getting a policy or at least a formal understanding with all stakeholders.

Seventh Mistake: Not running major initiatives by a small group before launching them.

Action: Run major campaigns, like a Code of Conduct release or the annual ethics training course, through a focus group or several people from differing areas of the business. Get feedback early and shift where required to make it better before launching to the whole company.

Section 3: The Big Picture

Eighth Mistake: Not telling the story of your programs with your metrics.

Action: Tie your metrics to KPIs or goals so it is clear whether a number is good or bad. Put the metrics in context for leadership so they can see where things are going well or need to be improved. This will help you to get resources. Leadership will also be more interested when the story of the program is told, instead of receiving a series of numbers.

Ninth Mistake: Not asking for enough resources – technological, human, and financial.

Action: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – perhaps more so you have a place to negotiate down. There is a term in sales called “anchoring.” People anchor their expectations to the first price given. You need to ask for what you want and need and not be shy about it.

Tenth Mistake: Not ensuring the consistency of your program so it achieves defensibility.

Action: Make the case for consistency and don’t get thrown off. If you can’t keep your eLearning, ramp up webinar learning. Keep your due diligence program consistent. Keep making scheduled communications. Educate your leaders on the need for consistency if a prosecution were to occur.