Frank Ruelas (Francisco.email@example.com) is a Facility Compliance Professional with Dignity Health in Phoenix, AZ.
When introducing new employees to an organization’s compliance program, it is important for the compliance professional to share how the organization’s culture of compliance supports the ongoing implementation and management of an effective compliance program. This goes beyond providing the important message that the organization’s compliance program is designed to help detect and prevent noncompliant activity. The compliance professional must make it a point to show how everyone is a stakeholder in supporting the organization’s culture of compliance. By doing so, the compliance professional can help new employees develop the level of confidence and reassurance that will enable them to follow through as necessary in doing their part to support the organization’s compliance program.
Making culture real
For some people, the topic of culture may not bring to mind examples of what it means to have a culture of compliance. This is not surprising, because just trying to define culture may bring forward many different ideas. At its basic level, an organization’s culture can be defined as those shared values that everyone recognizes and applies when making decisions on how to conduct themselves in their day-to-day activities.
By applying this definition of culture, the compliance professional can help new employees identify the processes in place to help them become active participants in preventing noncompliant activity. Too often, new employees are not given a clear idea or description of how the organization’s culture of compliance translates to activities or processes that promote its compliance program.
Emphasizing program elements
Perhaps one of the easiest and most direct ways to give new employees a sense of the culture of compliance is to describe those activities and elements of the compliance program that they will experience on an ongoing basis. For example, ongoing training and education, updates on the results of auditing and monitoring, reminders on how to report suspected noncompliance activity, and making it clear to all employees that the compliance professional is available and approachable are all tangible signs that show the organization is committed to its compliance program. By using this approach, the compliance professional can provide meaningful and useful examples of how an organization’s culture genuinely supports its compliance program.