My team and I are often asked, “What can I do to make my compliance communication as effective and engaging as possible?” The answer may surprise you. While having strong, quality communications materials available to your employees is important, such communication will be virtually irrelevant if not delivered with consistency.
Consistency sounds time consuming and scary, and I can understand the fear. It’s hard enough to find time to manage the existing constants of a typical day. You’re painfully aware of your bottomless inbox and the blinking light of your voicemail. Even personal things, like promising yourself that you’ll start drinking more water or getting a full night’s rest, seem daunting. But if you don’t hold yourself accountable, you will not reach your goals. Your compliance communication program is no different.
We know why we need to be consistent in our compliance communication, but how can we achieve it? By taking the steps below, consistency in your messaging can become a more natural part of your routine:
Create a plan, and stick to it. If you are going to send out a monthly compliance resource (or weekly, like we do!), then do it! Creating a check list, calendar, or automated reminders are simple ways to track your consistency. Share the plan with your team, and hold each other accountable. If you do not have a team, ask your leadership and managers to participate. Getting your compliance communications plan up and running will be easier with the support of your colleagues. If you don’t know how to begin, CW Accelerate can help.
Don’t make excuses. Convincing yourself that there are valid reasons to push off your scheduled tasks will directly impede your consistency. Letting your plan fall by the wayside is the first of many pitfalls of an unsuccessful (and ineffective) compliance communications program. The days you are most busy are the days you should strive to carve out time to follow your plan.
Build your consistency over time. Forcing yourself to stay on top of things at a constant rate can feel overwhelming and result in self-sabotage. So, start small! A few changes in your behavior over time will create habitual tasks, prevent resentment of your schedule, and keep your communications goals in sight.
Don’t let sudden, unexpected changes derail you. Compliance professionals know better than anyone that the compliance landscape is ever-changing. Even if you’ve mapped out the next six months of your compliance communication program, you must allow yourself to make changes as new compliance risks manifest themselves. Be open to flexibility, and your consistency will not be affected despite last minute changes.
Take responsibility for, and evaluate, your plan. Holding yourself and your team accountable for your compliance communications program will keep it relevant. Additionally, evaluating your plan over time will help you understand what’s working and what isn’t. It’s difficult to justify
COMPLIANCE COMMUNICATIONS TIP: To have a large quantity of communication resources for your compliance program is important, but it matters little if you are not consistently communicating with your audience. Consistency takes time and effort, but is worth the extra practice and patience if you want your communication to create effective, lasting change.