What Does it Mean to Go Beyond Compliance?
Compliance is ever-changing and regulatory bodies place a lot of pressure on companies to keep up. Businesses often find themselves swallowed by the task and end up having no choice but to do the bare minimum when it comes to delivering quality. However, a firm that chooses to go above and beyond the standard can protect its assets in the long term, out-compete the competition, and reap the rewards of a good reputation. A bare minimum approach may limit your costs and save you time in the short run, but it can expose you to more business risk over time.
According to And these same organizations feel that a change must be made, and their compliance processes need to be updated in order to go beyond the bare minimum of their mandated regulations. Kirsty Searles, a Deloitte Risk Advisory Partner, states “We need more than just people who can write rules and policies. We need people who can translate the rules into what the business needs to do and help the business to change… Ultimately, this shift will enable better business relationships, improved credibility, and greater clarity in the value delivered by compliance.” With focus on company performance and improved product quality becoming a major trend going into 2020, let’s take a look at some ways your organization can move beyond compliance in the new year.
4 Ways to Create Value Beyond Compliance
Rather than making compliance a number one priority, it is important for your company to help people get their jobs done first. Through doing so, you will naturally begin meeting the compliance needs of your organization. In order to begin this process, you must first recognize your employees’ priorities, improve their document management experience, and give them systems that are tailored to work for them.
Recognize Employees’ Priorities
Every employee has a core set of duties and responsibilities that contribute to the quality of a business’ end product. For example, shop floor workers may need to access work instructions and train on new policies or safety procedures. Document control specialists may need to scan, image, organize and maintain documents as well as adhere to the company's document lifecycle procedures. Quality managers may need to develop effective quality control processes and monitor their compliance. All of these people are occupied with their day-to-day duties. Managing and filing records becomes a chore that often goes to the end of a very long list of primary responsibilities.
Instead of thinking about the importance of compliance and how to achieve high quality standards, it is important to shift your thinking to the value you can help create to support your employees’ and peers’ jobs, and in turn to drive organizational compliance. Luckily, all of this can be done using a document management system that is tailored to your company.
Improve the searching and finding experience
Employees often end up losing focus on creating real quality simply because their system of document control is confusing and time-consuming. In a recent IDC Report, it was found that workers spend an average of 16% of their working time looking for information, and they only find what they need 56% of the time. And a 2017 ARMA benchmarking survey states that 80% of records and information technology professionals identified rapidly increasing volumes of data as the greatest obstacle to successful information management.
Sifting through random digital files and paper documents makes it very difficult for employees to move beyond their mandated compliance requirements and look at their company’s larger quality goals. You can have a system, but if no one uses it or they use it incorrectly then its value is not realized. So, the key to improving the searching and finding experience for your employees is adopting a document management software that works for them. By implementing tools that help workers do their job instead of hindering them, you reduce wasted time and unnecessary frustration, and allow room to move beyond business regulations.
Improve the Employee Training Experience
Most compliance standards require that only trained and qualified individuals perform tasks. Other regulations may require specific training such as sexual harassment awareness, legal business practices, or company branding. Without a comprehensive training management program, it can be hard to track if employees are up to date on training on new processes or safety procedures. And without proper training, it is nearly impossible for employees to create the level of quality your company should aim for.
However, using a document management system, your company will have the ability to administer automated document and event-based training by job title. This software assures employee policy and procedure awareness, while automating the tracking of your employees’ electronic training records. Therefore, you can ensure each and every employee has the knowledge they need to not only meet compliance standards, but to go beyond these regulations and create true quality in their individual roles.
Give People Systems and Processes that Work for Them
The best way to get people using document control is to design the system, and processes associated with it, in a way that works for them. You can do that by looking for a document management software that best fits your company’s needs. Is it flexible? Does it promote collaboration? Is it easy to navigate? It is important to ask these questions before choosing a DMS for your company. A system meant to organize your important documents should be more than just a vault of files, it should work with your employees to create quality and remain compliant as it does so. Some essential features to look for in a document management system that will help simplify operations include:
- 360° Audit Trails and Reporting
- Read and Acknowledge Training by Job Title
- Change Control
- Review & Approval Routing
- Electronic Signatures
- Advanced searching of content, form data and metadata
- SMTP integration with your existing email for automatic receipt of document workflow notifications
Compliance might be the start of your conversation, but it should not be the end of it. An involved workforce is more productive, more likely to be devoted to the work they do, and more likely to stay with organizations longer. This business value cannot be underestimated and must be specifically called out for a records or information management agenda to get the traction it needs.
If you want a successful records or document management program, you need to ground it in business value that speaks to everyone. To learn more about how our document control software can help your company move beyond compliance in 2020, contact us today.