Setting New Compliance Objectives Post Lock-down

Posted by Peter Rogers

Now that lock-downs are easing and companies are returning back to work; as Compliance people we need to get ourselves well prepared for any future major events.

In this blog we discuss item #2 of our ongoing series: 10 Things for Compliance People to Do After Lockdown.

This is setting new compliance objectives. 


Business man pointing to transparent board with text What are Your Goals?-1

Why are Organisations Poor at Setting Objectives

In general, organisations are poor at identifying, documenting, reviewing or setting new objectives.

They end up:

  • Overlooking the review and resetting of objectives
  • Just don’t change their objectives
  • Stick with the same ones and recycle year after years, even when they are can clearly show they met them
  • An objective which looks like a rewrite of legislation or policy
  • Just too lazy to think of some new ones

In addition, when organisations do create some objectives they make some basic mistakes. here are some handy hints:

  1. Write an objective when the law already has defined it. i.e. "have no accident/Incidents this year". That is pretty much expressed in law anyway.
  2. There are too many objectives to achieve.  Only select 2-3 objectives to achieve at any one time.
  3. Define objective where there is data to show whether you are getting better or worst.
  4. Use the marketing department to write the objective. Use their wordsmith skills.
  5. Create objective that are aligned with your own policies.

So how can an organisation fix this? 

Here are our top 10 ideas:

  1. If your organisation has never written objectives, don’t just start making them up. Your first and only objective should be to identify data sources and start measuring it for a year, this data will help you create your future objectives.
  2. Get each department to create and own their own objective(s).
  3. Don’t do more than 2 or 3 objectives at a time. The most important thing is that once an objective has been met during the year remove it and replace it with a new one.
  4. Ensure you communicate the results of achieving or not achieving your objectives.
  5. Display your objectives on the noticeboard as an indication that you are committed to achieving them.
  6. Regularly review them. Find an appropriate forum to discuss the progress on achieving them.
  7. Look at different ways to manage your objectives. There is no one way of managing objectives. You could:
    1. Create improvement teams
    2. Work in pairs or small groups
    3. Have multidisciplinary departmental teams.
  8. Record the steps that worked and what didn’t. Learn what worked and what didn't.
  9. If you own an objective ensure the value and purpose is clearly understood.
  10. Try and base everything on data and evidence.

For the those compliance managers over the lock-down it would have been a great time to tidy up your data and identified objective use these items and go for it.

For those compliance professional who did get around to tidying up your data, you know what your first objective is = “TIDY up your data”

Tags: QHSE Management, Integrated QHSE, 10 Compliance Things After Lockdown