In February 2021, Speeki surveyed global compliance officers to assess what their thoughts were on the ‘value’ of compliance to a business.
We focused on this topic because over the years we have found that compliance teams tend to focus on reporting out metrics that are very ‘compliance-focused’ but not often aligned to the goals of the business. While compliance very much directly contributes to the business as a whole, it is not always measured with that in mind and is therefore rarely reported.
We believe that, in order to compete and receive investment and continued support from business management, compliance teams need to more closely align their programmes to the business goals. They must also ensure that they can easily measure and report the results of their initiatives in a language that the business can understand.
Our survey established that business teams are focused on these key metrics and goals:
These four groups of metrics are standard across most companies. While they may differ across companies in terms of priorities, they are almost guaranteed to exist in some form for every CEO and management team. The focus for a compliance team is to map against these objectives and really prove that compliance does contribute to all of them.
Our survey found that only around 20% of participants effectively map against business goals, with the remaining 80% attempting to align their goals with the business but doing so poorly, or not mapping their goals against the business at all.
Most teams found it tough to report value to the business and focused more on:
- showing survey results from stakeholders about compliance programmes
- showing reduced costs of compliance programmes and the resulting investigations
- reducing the number of issues that led to investigations and costs.
Our position at Speeki is that there is a misalignment between what businesses want to hear about compliance and what compliance teams are providing in terms of tracking and reporting. We believe that there is tremendous opportunity for compliance teams to really show value to the business and, wherever possible, compliance teams should focus on how they have:
- helped make it easier to do business
- helped secure customers
- helped keep long-term customers
- established new revenue through compliance initiatives
- supported the business in closing deals faster through quicker onboarding, for example
- driven down costs in customer-acquisition initiatives
- maintained the right to operate in certain markets or industries
- driven positive shareholder activity through attracting ESG and other funds investing in compliant businesses
- contributed to the brand of the business, through ethics, ESG, certification or other initiatives
- contributed to employee loyalty, ethics and buy-in through establishing compliance
- driven up margins by reducing costs of compliance, investigations, compliance breaches and regulatory enquiries or fines imposed.
The key messaging for compliance teams is that ‘value’ is seen through the eyes of the business that is funding compliance initiatives. Compliance teams have a duty to show the return on that investment wherever possible, taking into account the objectives and goals of the business.
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