Using data from our survey of over 1,000 respondents located all over the globe, we produced our 2016 Ethics & Compliance Policy Management Benchmark Report and webinar in May. During the webinar, Carrie Penman and I talked through industry best practices that address many of the pain points our survey respondents identified. Among the most difficult challenges survey respondents faced included:
Challenge #1: Staying on Top of Policy Changes The majority of survey respondents—47%—see this as their top challenge.
Our top recommendations for addressing this ongoing challenge? Appoint a policy committee and create a regular review process which includes soliciting regular input from subject matter experts (SMEs). Document the resulting changes you make to each policy (ideally in a policy management software system) and why the changes were made. Taking these steps will help you stay ahead of policy changes—and stay compliant with the ever-changing regulatory landscape.
Challenge #2: Lack of Ownership
One way to solve the lack of ownership challenge is to appoint a policy management advocate or “champion” who is well respected and who has an understanding of how critical policies are to an organization’s success. This advocate can be invaluable for procuring board or top-level buy-in on compliance budget items—especially if your largest policy management concerns are budget-centric.
Challenge #3: Budget and Resource Concerns
Our respondents indicated their frustrations over budget—from it not being designated to just one department or role, to the lack of resources in general.
Do you have the resources you need? We recommend basing resources on organization size and policy complexity (especially for regulated industries) to properly calibrate your policy management program—you wouldn’t want to have three people writing and reviewing policies for an employee base of 10, for instance.
OVERALL: Leverage Technology to Make Policy Management More Effective
Policy management software can make a major difference in addressing each one of the major challenges noted above. Having one centralized platform helps ensure that everyone knows which policy is the latest version—and ensures that all edits made to policies are documented.
For example, because policy management software workflows require document ownership, one person can be designated to see the process of policy development and deployment all the way through. And, depending on your organization's needs, scalable policy management software—but cutting down on the time, effort, and busywork of policy management—can result in a net savings for many organizations.
What are your strategies for addressing these top challenges? Share your top approaches by leaving a comment here!
For a closer look at how NAVEX Global can simplify your organization’s policy management, schedule a demo of PolicyTech™ with one of our ethics and compliance experts today.