Employers must make clear to their employees what compliance topics and policies are essential to the organization. As Skillsoft’s John Arendes explains, it’s to the employer’s benefit to help employees deal with information overload.
The workplace continues to evolve over time; from the impact of startup cultures to new technology, it is not the same place as my first investment banking job out of college in 1989. On my first day, I received the 10-page employee handbook, in hard copy, that could easily be carried around in my work bag. My manager explained to the group that all the sections were of importance, but the most important section to know was the travel and expense section.
That statement alone shows how much times have changed. Today, corporate policy documents are hundreds of pages, and employees need to understand a host of various policies, many of which can be found in a company’s code of conduct. Given the significant increase in paperwork and policies in today’s climate, companies need a system that allows them to distribute, track and control policy versions – and this all needs to flow seamlessly.
What Has Changed?
To track down the cause behind the increase in paperwork, let’s think about the different types of communications we have today. We are hit with hundreds of emails, texts, social media notifications and messages through both personal and work devices every day.
In fact, a 2014 study revealed that, on average, American adults sent and received 32 texts per day – a staggering total of 18 billion texts every day, 541 billion every month and 6.5 trillion every year. Safe to say Americans are constantly in contact.
It was also found that between 2015 and 2019, the number of emails sent and received per day totaled more than 205 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of three percent over the next four years, reaching over 246 billion by the end of 2019.
Dealing with Information Overload
When one combines the number of calls received each day with the volume of information received social media and email, there is an increased potential for an employee to miss critical information that has been passed through their communication networks. In a world with multiple streams of communication, how are employees to know and understand what information is essential?
For companies, communication is critical between the employer and the employee; companies must prioritize these communication challenges for the company to function properly. Therefore, many organizations have asked that their employees attest to one or many corporate policies. An attestation protects not only the employer, but the employee as well. Most employees want to be aware of corporate policies and how best to abide by them.
Depending on the employee’s role in the organization, an employer may require the employee to disclose any conflicts of interest with the procedures as they relate to the employee’s position in the company. This conflict of interest could result from the employee’s partner sitting on the board of directors, a relationship with a vendor, or even the employee’s investments. When the employer asks the employee to attest that they have read a policy or disclosed certain information, the employee should understand the benefits and that the attestation of these policies protects both parties. Having a system in place also helps deter any violations.
Ensure Employees Understand Policies
We are overwhelmed every day with a host of communications from multiple sources. Employers must ensure they are helping their employees understand what is essential to the organization. Having an audit trail along with version controls helps ensure the employer and the employee are working together to help keep the business operating at highest possible standards.