The Importance of Maintaining Sound Compliance Standards
Establishing a brand can be a challenging feat, however, an even more daunting challenge can be maintaining your brand once you have worked so hard to develop a strong reputation. At the forefront of all brands is public perception. There are many different public relations tactics that a brand can implement to grow recognition and favorability in the eyes of the public, however, mistakes are inevitable. It is critical to develop and maintain extensive safety and compliance regulations in order to create a positive public perception and minimize the risks that your company faces on a regular basis.
As we live in an age where consumers are beginning to care more and more about the moral and ethical codes of the companies that they source, it is more important now than ever to evaluate compliance standards. Compliance can be a tricky thing, each industry is unique and has its’ own set of standards and codes. There are federal, state and local regulations that must all be attended to and on top of those industry specific regulations, the public holds companies to an even higher standard at times. According to a study conducted by leading advertising firm Weber Shandwick, 83% of consumers prefer to utilize products or services from companies who “do the right thing” in regards to compliance. So how do you go about ensuring that your company makes the cut for an increasingly demanding consumer-base? Evaluate and modify your current safety and compliance protocol!
As a distributor of promotional products, Stran abides by a strict and extensive policy when it comes to compliance. As a member of the Quality Certification Alliance, we ensure that our own compliance standards are consistent with our industry at large. The QCA is an industry-wide, not-for-profit agency that ensures compliance and safety standards for our industry. Additionally, Stran is an active member of the esteemed 14 member Distributor Advocacy Committee (DAC) which is a committee committed to ensuring that industry compliance standards are maintained at the highest level. As a company specializing in brand management, we ensure that the products that we use reflect the compliance and safety standards of our clients. By doing so, we are able to protect the brands that we work so closely with as we continue to increase their exposure. Staying a step ahead in terms of compliance is important as taking a more aggressive and proactive approach will resolve issues before they arise compared to reacting to problems as they occur.
Potential Risks Include:
-Unfair Working Conditions/Hiring Practices
-Hostile Workplace Culture
-Negative Environmental Impacts
These are just a handful of some of the more pressing compliance issues, however, the list only grows from here. While the list of compliance risk is long and at times overwhelming, there is no need to panic. Rather, this should serve as a reminder to stay on-top of your game in terms of keeping up with the changing risks and regulations that factor into compliance and company safety. Risk mitigation is the common denominator. With increasing risk, managing issues before they can surface becomes the challenge. Provided is a checklist of steps that you can take to protect your business from significant legal and social repercussions.
–Create a Detailed Employee Code of Conduct: By doing so, each employee will have a specified list of expectations and guidelines to follow. This will ensure that your employees understand what is expected of them from both a behavioral and procedural standpoint. By creating a detailed code of conduct, the line is clearly drawn in the sand in terms of professional expectations.
-Join a Compliance Regulation Organization: Joining a compliance regulation organization will provide your company with resources and a governing body to carry out socially and environmentally sound business practices. This assures to your clients that you take your footprint on your community seriously and have a vested interest in more than the bottom line.
-Develop a Crisis Management Program: In the event that a crisis occurs, you need to be prepared. Clients want the security that if something goes wrong, you are prepared to resolve the issue in a responsible and timely manner so as not to disrupt their day-to-day operations.
-Review and Update Employee Safety Protocols: Keeping your employees free from harm should be of top-priority. As new risks emerge, protect your employees by giving them a blueprint to safely complete their tasks.
-Mandatory Sensitivity Training Course: Requiring that all employees complete a sensitivity training course is becoming increasingly important. It seems as though everyday a new company is under scrutiny for something that an employee has said or done in an insensitive manner. Ensure that your company is not next in line by educating your employees on diversity in the workplace.
By taking the steps outlined above, you can significantly minimize the risks that inevitably face your company. These certainly will not eliminate all risks, however, they do ensure that you will be ready to counter them as they emerge. Additionally, by taking these socially responsibility measures, the general public will take your efforts into consideration as they favorably view your brand as these shed a significant light on your organizational values.