There are hundreds of IT security regulations your business must comply with—and as business owners and managers, you recognize the critical importance of these rules and regulations. Failure to comply means you risk not only financial penalties, but unnecessary and avoidable risks and exposures for your business’s security.
Following these regulations though, whether it’s a required educational seminar or specific processes, can feel tedious to even your most engaged employees. They probably even feel tedious to you sometimes, but because you recognize their importance, you’re about to power through pretty easily.
So how do you get your employees on the same page with you and ensure you’re doing everything you need to meet compliance requirements?
The answer lies in a concept called change management.
What is Change Management?
Change management can be defined as “a systematic approach to the transformation of goals, processes and technologies” with the goals to create “confident, positive, and optimistic stakeholders with the skills and commitment to ensure new initiatives succeed.”
In other areas of your business, including many situations implementing new technologies and digital processes, change management is increasingly less about a top-down approach. Instead, making change is the work, as businesses prioritize adaptability and agility, with employees involved in changes from the outset.
Managing change in this way is highly effective: the employees involved in execution are involved in the dialogue, planning, and strategy setting, ensuring their engagement and understanding of the goals.
But by definition, regulations come from the top down—the very top of the country in fact—and there’s little wiggle room. Which means you have to lean on other methods of communication and team building to ensure your compliance needs are met.
Change the Mindset Around Compliance
Most of the time, we consider meeting compliance requirements and regulations a defensive task. You’re defending your business against the regulatory and legal liabilities and penalties. But if you can shift your mindset and your communications around compliance toward a more positive, beneficial one, it can make a big difference.
After all, these regulations typically exist for a solid reason—often to protect you, your business, your employees, and their jobs. Take the time to set a compliance communications strategy that gets to the heart of these issues and help set perspective by discussing the larger cultural context of the regulations your business is impacted by.
As part of your local, national, and global communities, your business must act with compliance at the core of everything you do—rather than just a necessary annoyance to appease regulators. Compliance can be reframed as something you do as good corporate citizens and community members.
Vary Your Communication Channels and Delivery Methods
It’s well-established that to effectively communicate an idea, concept, or message, it takes multiple delivery methods and channels and repetition, repetition, repetition. You can adopt this idea with your compliance communications strategy as well.
For example, your employees may be required to follow a set of established rules and processes and clearly understand what’s required of them. It’s helpful to not only hold a training webinar and send a follow-up email, but to communicate repeatedly over time through all the available communications tools your business has. This could mean a regular posting schedule on your organizational intranet, a series of emails, webinars, Q&A sessions, short videos, posters, bulletin board postings, and more. Vary the visual with the written and the auditory.
With something as important as meeting compliance standards, you’ll also want to consider making regulatory requirements a regular part of your all-hands meetings or town halls, whether they’re conducted in-person or remotely, or some hybrid of the two. Rather than hosting a separate event and pulling everyone away from their daily work, regularly addressing compliance in staff communication is a tactic that helps reinforce compliance as a regular and beneficial part of doing business. This also helps you break down information so it’s not overwhelming, but instead, short, memorable, and effective.