I really like this quote from Simon Sinek:
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first”.
It makes perfect sense. We’ve all received amazing service from people who clearly love their job and appalling service from people who don’t. If people are passionate and proud of what they do, they’re more engaged. There’s a lesson for Compliance here.
If you don’t love what you do — if you’re not proud of your work — then that’ll come across to anyone you engage with. And since your job is about influencing employees — the way you ensure your organisation is compliant is, after all, via your employees — that really matters.
How do we know when people don’t love their job? They just do the bare minimum and don’t go the extra mile. They just tick the box. They just get the job done. They provide 1-star service, not 5-star service. They’ll know it. And so will anyone they interact with.
So, if you’re producing training that’s not at all user friendly but just ‘does the bare minimum’ to keep regulators happy*, are writing policies that are dull and tedious but do ‘tick the box’, or creating processes that are bureaucratic but ‘get the job done’ then you’re probably not engaging your employees.
And if you’re not doing that, you’re likely to be sending a signal to them that you don’t love compliance and that you’re not interested in their experience of it. And if you don’t love it, why should they care about it?
This is why adapting Sinek’s quote to: “Employees will never respect compliance until Compliance respects them first” feels appropriate. You can work on the basis that they have to respect it because they’re employed, but that will only get you so far. Much better, if you show them you care, by making your program user friendly. They’re far more likely to return the favour.
Let me know what you think.
*The one exception to all of that is anything you’re doing performatively just to keep regulators happy, that you genuinely think is a complete waste of time & wouldn’t do otherwise. Those are things where you can just do the bare minimum.