Will Your Compliance Department Survive?

Posted by Peter Rogers

One of the biggest QHSE compliance challenges we see, is a disconnect between the Compliance Department and the rest of the organisation. In these times of world-wide pandemics, organisations will be looking at cost-cutting just to survive. Your Compliance Department may be on the chopping block to save costs. 

Whether this is because the rest of the organisation doesn’t see their value or don’t know what they do, it's an uphill battle for the Compliance Department to be a voice to make the organisation successful.

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

How do you overcome this challenge? Read on.

Business man pointing the text Add Value

What is the Reason that Compliance Departments Show No Value?

A possible reason for this challenge is the Compliance Department may have never explained what they do, what their purpose is and how their activities affect the organisation. 

Therefore, you need to create a PR or Marketing campaign to explain your department's reason for being.


So where do we start?

Here are some easy things you can start to do:

  • Start educating, with small groups (don’t try to change the whole organisation) and explain what issues they are facing. Your department is there to be supportive and help them fix those issues so they become more effective and efficient.
  • Remember to explain complex issues in terminology that means something to them. Explain how it will effect them and improve their daily life at work.
  • Explain why you collect data. Then explain how data highlights issues. From that, you can get some actions or ideas that may fix their issues.
  • Explain that some idea will fail and some will be winners but unless we try to improvement and work together nothing will change.
  • Discuss and get agreement on how they want information reported to them on their ideas and improvements.
  • Remind them it always about process and not about blaming people.
  • Get agreement on how and when meetings will occur and that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the agreement ideas.
  • Explain it’s their ideas and they need to help getting their work mates involved.
  • Explain that through the process there will be communication and discussion.
  • Explain their data will be presented to the organisation on notice-boards, for example, and sometimes the data may not make the process look great. Sometimes that is the case, but that data will always highlight other areas that need improvement before the goal can be achieved.

Hopefully, all these activities will prove to the rest of the organisation the value you give them. This may prevent you from being a "cut cost".


More Ideas to Show Value

Over the past 6 months we have given the compliance folk 26 ideas of things to do in the lock-down and working from home and 10 things to do when you return to work.

In general, these ideas had 2 parts to them:

  1. Give you some improvement ideas you could apply to the compliance system, but also
  2. To give you some insight into what activities the compliance department do and how it may impact on employees.

Now that everyone is back to a somewhat different normal you want to ensure you don’t waste time on non-value adding work.

Stop making your documents look pretty.

Start getting out from behind your desk and get educating your organisation in the value your department brings.



It’s all about communication and involvement.

You can’t change things sitting in an office with a spreadsheet and a beautiful chart.

You need to go to the Gemba.

You need to be seen to be adding value.

Get out there and make some noise.

Tags: QHSE Management, Integrated QHSE, 26 Ideas for Working from Home, 10 Compliance Things After Lockdown