Changing business processes can be tough, especially when your business is already so familiar with the ‘old way’.
But if the legacy process is a huge time sink for you and your team, it only becomes a greater risk to the business as you grow.
While it might feel like your business will never grow to accept your new transformation initiative, you can guarantee success by following a few simple steps.
What is a corporate compliance program?
A corporate compliance program is a formalised program that outlines a company’s procedures and actions within processes that help prevent and detect when an organisation might violate laws or regulations that apply to it. Most companies have these corporate compliance programs in place to ensure that employees can work autonomously without constantly requiring Legal approval, while remaining mindful of the greater impact of their actions, including possible consequences.
How to get your business following your new corporate compliance program
You know that Legal stands to benefit the most from your corporate compliance program. You’ll be able to close gaps in your audit trail, streamline Legal’s involvement in business issues, and let your business self-serve on standard tasks that really don’t require Legal expertise.
Naturally, telling your business how this new corporate compliance program will benefit the Legal team won’t cut it. Realistically, no person will go out of their way to deviate from the process that makes sense to them in order to make another department’s life a little easier.
The key is to help your business understand why the new corporate compliance program will benefit THEM. Here’s how to do it:
1. Clearly communicate the transition, including why and when it is happening
If the business doesn’t even understand what is happening, then they definitely won’t follow the process.
It might seem out of character for Legal to make a big song and dance about a new compliance process, but it works. We’ve seen clients create exciting instructional ‘teaser’ videos to let their team know that the change is coming and Ocado even held workshops and baked Plexus Gateway themed cupcakes to engage with their business.
But the main message they shared with their business was not how this corporate compliance program was going to help Legal. Rather, they shared how the new compliance process will make it easier for the business to access Legal themselves and streamline their projects so they can even avoid Legal for smaller tasks that didn’t require heavy Legal input (such as creating standard Non-Disclosure Agreements).
2. Involve the business, get buy in from other leaders
The Legal team might not be the strongest influencers in your business, so bring on board those who are.
Recruiting 'Adoption Champions' is a great way to spread the word and reinforce a positive mindset around the compliance program. Think of it like an ongoing celebrity endorsement.
3. Completely eliminate the old way, if there are two ways there will be confusion and people will revert back to what they know
Humans are creatures of habit. If you present your business with a new process, they won’t use it. You need to remove their ability to access Legal from the previous way. That might mean instead of replying to that email straight away, direct them to the legal compliance platform and let them know you are prioritising Legal requests as they come through the platform.
This push back might seem counter-productive at first, but before you know it you’ll have re-wired the team to go directly via the new compliance process the first time.
4. Keep the team in the loop, ask for feedback and ensure the business feels as though they are getting value from the new way
The adoption process for your corporate compliance program doesn’t just end when your business starts using the platform. If you want the team to continue using it, you need to maintain the open communication you kicked off the launch with. No doubt some people in your business will have feelings (both positive and negative) as to how they’ve found the new compliance program. Ensure Legal is ready to acknowledge these and support the business with queries that come up.
In addition, congratulate and thank your team for adopting the compliance program. Let them know how much benefit you have seen and how many projects have been turned around faster than before. This positive reinforcement should encourage them to continue following the compliance program – and help push along any laggards into adopting it too.
Corporate compliance with Plexus
At Plexus, our Customer Success team supports the Legal team onboarding, and then the business onboarding. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive toolkit to ensure you are fully prepared to launch your legal transformation project. Time and time again we see the Legal functions who take this approach to engage and educate their business thrive using the Plexus Gateway platform.