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Compliance Dos and Don’ts For Your Business

Depending on the industry your business is in and where you are located, ensuring compliance may be a big part of what you do. This can be both costly and time-consuming but is also necessary in many sectors. The tips below can help you meet and exceed these standards, to the benefit of your business.

Don’t Forget About Local Requirements

If your business has branches in multiple cities or states, you might need to stay on top of different types of regulations in different areas. In an industry like fleet management, this compliance may be affected by the specific type of work your company does as well. A government fleet operating in California has to adhere to smog check requirements that may not be in place in other areas. Look for tools that can help. To cut costs and improve vehicle uptime, review a guide that explains how telematics can help you complete a smog check more quickly.

Do Go Above and Beyond

Compliance should not be just about doing the minimum. While some standards can seem difficult to adhere to, raising yourself above the minimum requirements sets a good example for your employees and others in the industry, demonstrating your commitment to safety and other values, such as fiscal responsibility and environmental consciousness.

Don’t Over-Rely on Self-Reporting

You should have policies in place that encourage employees to report any violations they see through multiple channels, which can help protect them if one approach, such as going to a supervisor, is counterproductive. Encourage transparency and openness, making it clear that your staff can always come to you with an issue. At the same time, don’t assume that if you haven’t heard anything that everything is fine or that surveying your staff will necessarily return reliable responses about what is happening at your company. One issue with this approach is that there will be bias based on self-selection; a dishonest employee may not respond at all to surveys asking whether such behavior has been observed. You can still conduct surveys but be sure to account for this bias.

Do Pay Attention to Risk

When examining how you will approach compliance and how much you need to do beyond the basics, consider both your appetite for risk and the potential costs. When it comes to cybersecurity, consider what you have to protect, the likelihood that the information will be accessed and what the consequences may be. This kind of risk assessment can help prevent compliance turning into an exercise of checking off requirements and can provide insight into best practices for your situation.

Don’t Neglect Long-Term Planning

Whatever you do needs to be in the context of a larger framework and plan. It’s not enough to show your employees a video once or even once a year. You should have a system in place for developing and reviewing policies as compliance requirements and needs evolve. These policies should be easily accessible to employees. Even if you don’t have a full-time department that is focused on compliance, you should have a team that is responsible for creating, auditing, and revising policies.

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