Building a culture of compliance within your business

Navigating the complexities of rules and regulations in the dynamic world of business can be challenging for business owners, especially for entrepreneurs just starting out. 

Compliance means different things in different markets; the rules and regulations governing how you do business in technology may look very different than if you operate in hospitality.  But, no matter what the industry, ingraining a culture of compliance into the fabric of your organisation, can help you to stay on the right track, whilst demonstrating a commitment to ethical conduct and responsible business practices.

What is Compliance?

Compliance is more than a ‘tick-box’ exercise. It ensures that your business operates on the right side of the law. It protects your company from legal risk and instils transparency and accountability in the workplace.

Compliance also includes regulations around the impact your company may have on the natural environment and climate. As the UK Government looks to reach Net Zero by 2050, businesses in the UK are now, for example, having to factor in their impact on carbon emissions and introduce practices that meet the necessary criteria.

The benefits of building a company culture of compliance

As compliance impacts every aspect of your business, building these procedures into daily business processes and working with your team to achieve this, will instil a culture of compliance. This has a number of benefits:

  • Streamlines decision making and ensures consistency – With compliance built into decision-making, the risks of making costly mistakes and/or having to make U-turns on decisions are significantly reduced. It also enables consistency as everyone’s following the same procedures.
  • Safeguards company reputation – Meeting legal obligations and industry standards within your ways of working can mitigate against any potential reputational risk. A good reputation can bolster efforts for business growth and can help to attract the best talent to your organisation.
  • Good for employer branding – Giving teams a safe environment is not only a legal requirement, but sound business practice. The onboarding and training of new employees represents a significant investment, so treating teams well will go a long way to retain the best talent. Compliance also ensures fairness as everyone is treated according to a specific set of guidelines.

How to build compliance into company culture

  • Establish company ‘ways of working’ – Develop clear processes that are documented and rolled out to your team.  This then becomes a ‘single truth’ which everyone buys into and can refer to.
  • Clear communication is vital – Communicate new procedures and implement ways to gain buy-in from your team. This can be done through internal communications, such as presentations in team meetings, and/or the education and training of staff through company workshops. Ensure that sessions on your ‘ways of working’ are part of the onboarding of new employees.
  • Having processes formalised and documented will give your staff structure, clarity and builds in business continuity. Make information about your processes and procedures are readily available to everyone on your team.
  • Use tech to streamline compliance – Using technology to automate routine compliance-related tasks, will ensure accuracy, increase productivity and free up your team for more meaningful tasks. It also provides accurate data for the reporting necessary for compliance.

Cultivating a culture of compliance is a strategic imperative. By prioritising compliance, you can safeguard your business’ reputation, mitigate against legal and financial risks, and nurture a workplace built on transparency, trust, integrity and accountability.