Chapter 3: Running an Effective Compliance Program

Communication and Education

Communicating with and educating an organization’s workforce about compliance matters is a cornerstone of an effective compliance program. In their June 2020 compliance-program effectiveness guidance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) states that compliance program information should be disseminated and understood by employees in practice; and training and communications should be appropriately crafted. The DOJ is evaluating compliance programs on how well organizations communicate with their workforce and how effectively they train them on compliance matters.

Many issues that compliance programs run into will affect an organization’s workforce. The communications and/or marketing team can help facilitate delivery of important compliance messages to the organization’s workforce and to the public at-large. For example, when a privacy breach occurs and affects more than 500 individuals, Compliance must report the breach to government agencies and local media. Communications and marketing personnel are trained and experienced in crafting well-written and concise messages of this nature. Compliance should partner with them if and when it is necessary.

Reaching an organization’s workforce and making an impact about the importance of compliance issues must be done strategically. The compliance program needs to be known and its priorities understood to help reduce the risk of noncompliance throughout the organization. One of the first steps in helping employees easily recognize the program is to create a compliance program brand.

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