FCPA: Creating Sustainable (Compliance) Performance

Compliance practitioners are continually tasked with moving a company’s culture of compliance forward. However, the day-to-day work is sometimes too granular to see results. In an article in the January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review, entitled “Creating Sustainable Performance”, authors Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath explore some different techniques that managers can use to “help employees thrive at work.”

They note that even in a down economy, thriving employees out produce non-thriving employees. The authors defined ‘thriving’ as employees who are not only “satisfied and productive but also engaged in creating the future” for their organization. I thought about these concepts within the context of promoting a culture of compliance within your organization.

The authors posit that there are two components to such thriving employees. They are vitality: “the sense of being alive, passionate and excited” and learning: that being the “growth that comes from gaining new knowledge and skills.” These two concepts work in concert and lead to employees who “deliver results and find ways to grow” on the job. Just think about the power of these concepts if you could apply them to advancing your company’s compliance program. The authors list four steps that managers can take to help employees thrive, which I have adapted for the goal of promoting compliance within your company.

Provide decision making discretion. Here the authors believe that employees will be energized if they can make decisions which affect their work. For your compliance program, it means listening to and working with your local employees to come up with better ways to implement and enhance compliance. But you must take care not to cut back on empowerment simply if a person makes a mistake ...

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