Compliance Standards and Procedures

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Sample Compliance Communications Plan

An effective compliance communications plan is a key part of having an effective compliance program. As you plan your annual compliance communications, here are some factors that should be taken into account. Modify and adjust this document as needed to fit the specific requirements of your organization. You will also find a sample planning chart for an annual compliance communication plan for your use below.

Phase

Task

Person Responsible

Action Plan

Completion Date

Communication-planning work

Determine the topics on which you want to communicate. Document why you have chosen these topics. What risks are you trying to address? Why is this communication needed? What is the objective of issuing this communication?

Determine and document the intended audience for each communication (e.g., which job functions, which levels in the organization, which geographies or locations are you trying to reach and why? Do you want to communicate only to the executive team, only managers of people, only line workers?). Document your reasoning for choosing a particular audience.

Determine the channels/methods you will use to communicate each message (e.g., live education session, compliance chat, town hall, online education course, email, newsletter, social media post, poster, blog post, video or vlog, etc.).

Determine how you will measure the success or effectiveness of your communications. Which metrics will you use to measure? Will you track intranet views or helpline volume? Will you test people on the content to measure understanding and retention of your message?

Work closely with your corporate communications team to develop a full rollout plan to include messaging strategy and content, selection of the communication channels, methods, formats, languages, and timing that will be used. Take care to avoid “channel stuffing,” where employees receive so many messages through one channel, they start to tune them out. Consider the timing of messaging originating from other functions to avoid overlap where possible (e.g., don’t send out a compliance communication the same day HR is sending out a communication about annual bonuses).

Messaging content work

Content should ideally be values based and focused on reinforcing your code of conduct, which, in turn, reinforces your organization’s values and purpose.

Content should be customized as appropriate to be easily understood by your target audience. Consider consultation with subject matter experts in diversity and inclusion to ensure equal access for every member of the target audience, taking into account language, education level, and physical ability factors (e.g., if your message will only be issued in poster format, how will the visually impaired employees be able to access your content?).

Ask employees from different cultures to review your proposed messages to ensure they are culturally appropriate and are not unintentionally offensive in any way.

Ask employees who are native speakers of other languages to review any translated messages for accuracy and appropriate usage of local dialect.

Ensure messages have been reviewed by, and have received necessary approvals from, all relevant stakeholders. Approvers will vary depending on the topic but may include chief compliance officer, compliance committee, Corporate Communications, Trade Compliance, Finance, etc.

Post-communication work

Measure effectiveness of communication campaign using preestablished metrics for assessment.

Consider surveying recipients about their perceptions of the communication and/or asking them to complete a short quiz about the communication.

Conduct a post-communication review. What worked well? What issues came up? What have we learned that we can implement to ensure a smoother communication rollout next time?

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