Your step-by-step guide to ensuring compliance in the workplace
Building a compliance plan isn’t always fun, but it’s essential for businesses.
Workplace compliance. It’s probably not your favorite topic, but there’s no doubting its importance. Compliance is an essential safeguard for businesses. Think of compliance like doing taxes. Maybe not everyone’s favorite activity, but it’s a must rather than a nice-to-have.
Ensuring your workplace is compliant with all the relevant laws and regulations isn’t just important for steering clear of legal trouble–it also helps create a culture of integrity and ethical behaviors. And while compliance isn’t everyone’s favorite topic, it’s an essential safeguard for businesses.
In this blog post, we’re breaking down and getting familiar with workplace compliance. We’ll give you a launchpad of five steps to ensure compliance in your workplace. Let’s get started.
Step 1. Know the regulations and laws
The first step in ensuring compliance is understanding the relevant regulations and laws that your company needs to comply with. This will vary depending on your company’s function, workplace environment, and even location. For example, a lab in the US with hazardous chemicals, a manufacturing facility in the EU with heavy machinery, and a tech office in Australia will all have different compliance regulations to follow. You’ll want to keep up to date with changes to these regulations and laws.
Step 2: Document the rules your employees need to follow
Once you have a solid understanding of what specific compliance requirements your company and your people need to follow, make sure you have them clearly documented for others to understand. It’s much easier to remember and act on the rules if you have a place where you can find them. Think: employee handbook, internal resource hubs, or new hire welcome packets. You should have your employees sign off after reading the materials. That way you can ensure they’ve taken the time to understand them.
Step 3. Invest in employee training
Have you researched your policies? Check. Then did you document them in a handbook? Check. Now it’s time to train. Training will help reinforce those companies’ policies and procedures. The training sessions should cover:
- Safety and health policies, like health attestation for employees and visitors
- How to report hazards, injuries, illnesses
- Emergency response training
- Who to contact in case of compliance breaches
Also, training isn’t just a one time thing. It should be ongoing. Training employees regularly ensures that they are aware of compliance policies and procedures. Plus, it helps employees and leaders stay up to date on any changes.
Step 4. Leverage workplace technology
You can’t just rely on just brainpower to maintain compliance in the workplace, and workplace technology can take the burden off of you. For example, a big part of a company’s compliance rules includes managing who comes in and out of the workplace on a daily basis. Visitor management technology will help you maintain compliance with any rules related to external guests.
Your visitor management technology can help you:
- Securely collect data: Stay ahead of data privacy laws by storing your visitor’s personal information in a centralized, secure location
- Enforce NDAs: If there’s any sensitive information that your visitors might be interacting with, you can have them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and store it in your records.
- Store data for future audits: With a visitor management system, you can store detailed reports of who comes in and out of your office. You’ll be able to use that information later for audits.
Step 5. Audit, audit, audit
Audits sure sound like a scary ordeal, but they’re actually just safety checks to make sure your company is aligned with the compliance rules. An internal audit is a chance to look inward at the processes and programs in your company to see how you’re doing. Think of an audit the way you’d think of running a diagnostics program on your computer. You’ll be able to catch anything you might need to fix. So run regular audits to spot vulnerabilities before you face an audit from an external agency that turns into heavy fines. If you need additional help understanding how to run an audit, we’ve got you covered with this easy and comprehensive audit checklist.
The bad news: workplace compliance will never be pain-free—and it won’t happen overnight. It’s a constant and intentional practice that requires a plan. But the good news is that you can start building your plan here. Understanding and documenting your policies is a great first step if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Once you’ve got a baseline of what compliance laws you need to follow, invest in the tools that will make that easier for your company to adhere to them. Don’t consider the job done at that point. Be sure, you audit your compliance program and make improvements if needed.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to maintain a compliant workplace culture, check out our ebook: The enterprise guide to workplace compliance.