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Essential components of employee compliance feedback programs

Calvin London (calvin@thecomplianceconcierge.com) is the Founder and Principal Consultant for The Compliance Concierge in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Feedback programs have become a cornerstone of compliance—regardless of discipline or industry. Such programs sound really good and can portray a sense of well-being and concern for employee welfare. Senior management often views such programs as an easy win: “We want to know what you are thinking and feeling so we can fix the easy complaints but not address the deeper compliance issues.”

As the business world tries to reorientate processes to accommodate a post-pandemic work environment, the concept of speak-up or compliance feedback programs is even higher on the to-do list. Michael Volkov has pointed out that with the upsurge of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, prudent companies will take stock of their speak-up cultures as a first step toward implementing such initiatives.[1]

Leaders can gain invaluable knowledge about the status of their organization by listening to employees. However, in order to be able to listen, employees need to speak up, and this will only occur if certain criteria are satisfied that provide them with the reassurance that management can be trusted. Below are some of the key elements of compliance feedback programs and the implications of getting it right (or wrong).

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