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5 tips for your compliance communication

5 Minutes
 

How to inspire others for your compliance communication

 

The average employee receives about 121 emails per day.

What happens when they see an email from their compliance department in their inbox?

Are they eager to open it and read it? Probably not.

They might think: “Oh, no! Not another new, boring rule to follow!” and chances are high that they delete the mail without even bothering to read the information in it. Bang! They might feel that

- compliance is not relevant for their job,

- they have to work through all their other emails,

- reading a long text in legalese is just too much.

- ... (add your favorite excuse).

This is frustrating, because the compliance department had worked hard to inform everybody about a new regulation that needs to be applied. If many people ignore the new rule, they end up creating the next troubleshooting incident for the compliance department. Unfortunately, this reinforces their already unpopular reputation as party spoilers and rigid legalists who do not understand business pressures.

The vicious cycle of ineffective compliance communication!

It does not have to be that way!

The science of communication and influence offers a well-equipped toolbox that compliance can use to turn the internal image form unpleasant obligation and disruptor to trusted advisor.

Here are 5 steps, compliance teams can take to spice up their communication and turn it into valued conversations that everybody wants to participate in:

Get into a marketing mindset


I know, you never wanted to work in marketing, but as a compliance professional you need the buy-in of everybody. Yes, you are in marketing! In fact, we all need to win people’s cooperation most of the time, so you might as well enjoy it and get good at it. Do not think of marketing as manipulation, but as a form of long-term relationship building. Of course, for you the importance of compliance is crystal clear. Of course, you find it a fascinating subject. But this is not necessarily the case for everybody else. You need to get into the (marketing) habit of always reflecting how to make compliance relevant to others.

Do some soul searching, develop your compliance brand and make it known: 


If you want to win people for compliance, you need to work on your visibility and identity. What is your purpose? What values do you stand for? How do you want to be perceived? This will help you to stay in people’s minds in a positive way.

Know your target groups and their needs: 


Like in all good marketing, you need to know your target groups well. One size does not fit all. How can you address senior manager, middle manager, employees in specific ways that create value for them? Be a master internal networker, listen to them, and get feedback. Also, every department has different compliance challenges – go and stay updated about their everyday tough decisions and provide them with hands-on solutions. “Make it about them!” could be your new mantra.

Have a strategic communication plan


What is the objective of your communication strategy? Mix many channels of target-group tailored communication pieces (online events, videos, podcasts, interviews…the possibilities are endless). Keep it short, useful, attractive, and repeat relentlessly. Talk to your internal communications department and get them excited to support you. Finally, do not forget to position yourself externally. Visibility as an expert outside of the company, gives you more authority and credibility internally.

Evaluate your results:

Keep track of your communication activities and find out how they land. You can do this with statistics or surveys or simply with regular dialogues with your people. Compliance communication should not be a one-way street. Then improve and repeat.
 

Yes, it is a certain effort to set up such a holistic and creative compliance communication strategy, but you do not need a big budget for it and once you have it, it will make the rest of your compliance work more fun, more effective, and less frustrating.

Good luck!

Wishes our guest author Dr Bettina Palazzo

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