Five ways to keep compliance front-and-center for your remote workforce

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Five ways to keep compliance front-and-center for your remote workforce        

 

It is difficult to imagine a post-COVID-19 workplace. With many employees continuing to work remotely, managing effective oversight remains an issue.

                              

What’s a Chief Compliance Officer to do?

Be proactive. The pandemic has forced many businesses to disperse their workforce to wok entirely remote operations or in the office in “pods” on staggered schedules. Bad news, says Calvin London, writing in Corporate Compliance Insights, is that this on-again/off-again regimen has created a perfect storm for noncompliance.How? It’s a fact. Most bad actors do not commit crimes in front of the police, or when compliance is watching. This means that now, more than ever, it is crucial for compliance professionals to be visible. But how?

 

5 tips to keep compliance front-and-center during a pandemic

While your advisors and staff may not be able to see you, they can still hear you and hear from you. Here are five suggestions to help you be “ever-present.”

 

1. Keep compliance communications brief…and memorable

Avoid resending long compliance training memos or hours long virtual training courses. Consider sending out brief reminders and updates instead. Email short training statements or brief compliance quotes to remind employees of an aspect of a policy or procedure. Why? Because brief, easy-to-read, or easy-to-view reminders keep compliance top of mind even when employees are working remotely. Consider an email like “Reminder: Compliance means texting clients from your business cell, not your personal mobile.” And then click send. That’s it.

 

2. Be available; not invisible

Reach out to employees or various offices with offers to help or field a virtual “town hall.” Hold virtual training sessions or alert your teams to your weekly “Compliance Office Hours.” Then open a Zoom or Teams Meeting and be there. Host sessions to discuss, for example, compliant email records retention and review how much to document in the permanent email communication that could be a record misconstrued or taken out of context at a later date.

 

Let new employees know who you are, what you do, and the firm’s compliance expectations.

 

3. Launch a virtual “suggestion box”

Involve your firm’s members. In the pre-COVID world, they were your boots on the ground. That doesn’t have to change. Colleagues talk. And employees will share if they feel they have an avenue to express concerns, and they can expect their issues will be heard and addressed, even if the problems cannot be resolved on the spot. Consider launching an “ask before you act” policy. This program encourages employees to ask someone whether their intended action is a correct procedure before they actually act. As in the physical workplace, you are encouraging employees to run a proposed action past legal or compliance or an employee’s manager.

 

4. Share compliance updates

In addition to sending out reminders about policies and procedures like document retention or document signing, remind your firm’s professionals about the company’s position on ethics and integrity – and why that matters.

 

5. Keep yourself connected to others in the C-suite

During quarantine, it’s easy to become isolated. Don’t. Don’t silo yourself. Rather, connect regularly with IT, HR, quality control, and senior management. Find out what issues they see that might impact compliance. Share what you see.

 

And then call us. Because if you’ve got compliance oversight concerns, that’s where Patrina comes in. For more than 25 years, Patrina has been helping compliance professionals like you stay on the “straight and narrow” efficiently and cost-effectively. So, let’s talk. Call 212-233-1155 to ask about Patrina’s cost-effective designated third-party services, our comprehensive 8-module compliance solution, and compliant data capture & file storage, and records archiving specifically designed for the financial services community. Be smart. Be covered.Let’s talk.  

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