Eric Brotten (email@example.com) is Director of International Compliance Programs at Optum in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA. Jessica Drewiske (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Assistant Vice President and Manager of Global Ethics Strategy and Framework at U.S. Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Being a compliance and ethics professional today places individuals at the forefront of a growing need to protect and improve a company’s risk profile and reputation, and at the intersection of demands by stakeholders and other corporate functions such as human resources, tax, employee relations, communications, marketing, finance and accounting, legal, and privacy. There are many reasons to build a network, from meeting future employers/employees/colleagues, to learning from peers and benchmarking in order to improve program effectiveness and/or your effectiveness in a role, to convincing others of the importance of your program, or simply because you’re supposed to do it. If you are a compliance professional, it doesn’t take a headline to tell you that it has become increasingly critical to have a network not just within your company but also with compliance industry peers. Here are some tips for maximizing your compliance and ethics network.
Consider generational demographics in how you communicate
How does one build a dependable network? Tactically speaking, today’s networker needs to be mindful of the current multigenerational workplace and meet people on their own terms. That might mean inviting a boomer to a meal or sending a physical thank-you note after an interview. For the Gen Xer, try having a casual coffee meeting or scheduling a phone call. With millennials, it’s common to meet through personal contacts and to use social media and smartphones to speed connections; it’s also not uncommon to have social media–only contacts for niche needs. If you’re wondering about Gen Zers, so are we, and we welcome comments about their networking preferences. Although these are generalizations about the preferences of those in certain generational demographics, regardless of who you are meeting with, we encourage you to consider your audience and cater to their preferences when getting together to network. Lastly, understand that you may only be able to access and grow some facets of your network by attending professional conferences (i.e., through good old-fashioned in-person interactions).