The stakes are high when it comes to creating, implementing, maintaining, distributing and documenting policies and procedures. Complex business operations, global growth, employee litigation and the continuous expansion of legal and regulatory requirements create an increasing variety of policy-related risks.
Even so, policy management has been—and remains—a not-quite-fully-formed business practice. As a result, many ethics and compliance officers are not working against industry benchmarks to answer such questions as:
- How much are other organizations investing in policy management—both in dollars and FTEs?
- Are my top policy management challenges similar to those of my peers?
- How are my peers measuring whether their policy management program is effective?
To answer these and other questions critical to measuring policy program effectiveness NAVEX Global has partnered with a research firm to conduct an anonymous survey of nearly 900 ethics and compliance professionals about policy management. The goal was to provide the industry with the first definitive set of benchmarks around this area of practice—and, as with our hotline and training benchmark reports—help E&C officers make better decisions and increase program effectiveness.
Below is a sneak peek into some of the 2015 Policy Management Benchmark Report survey findings:
- Policy management is still a maturing business function. Twenty percent of survey respondents do not have a centralized approach to policy management, and forty-eight percent have no automated processes for tasks such as authoring, reviewing and publishing policies. The majority of respondents are still handling policies within departmental siloes, thereby limiting access to policies, creating unnecessary re-work and exposing their organizations to significant risk.
- Organizations dedicate few resources to policy management. Many respondents note that their organizations have very limited funding and staff dedicated to policy management. This is true even for organizations managing hundreds—or even thousands—of policies. However, there is some evidence that policy management is becoming a higher priority, with almost a third of respondents saying they expect their policy management budget to increase over the next year.
- Policy management effectiveness is a blind spot. Fifty-eight percent of respondents indicate that they track no metrics related to the use or effectiveness of their policies. Respondents who do use metrics most commonly track only the accessibility of policies (twenty-four percent). This indicates that many organizations have little or no information about the impact, accessibility, awareness or effectiveness of their policies.