If you haven’t done so already, now is the time that compliance officers should look at existing internal communication channels. In most organizations, communication facilitated using the telephone and tools such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack.
These tools also support video communication – especially important during times with no in-person meetings. This is also helpful when it comes to potentially sensitive ethical issues that employees want to discuss directly with compliance officers. These and similar tools can be used to organize meetings, hold team discussions, answer individual compliance questions from employees and provide status reports to the management board while working remotely.
However, as soon as you need to communicate with a large number of employees, these tools reach their limit. Particularly during uncertain times such as the corona crisis, it can make sense to organize virtual meetings that all employees can attend and ask questions. Options for these larger meetings include for example Webcast (e. g. for large telephone conferences including a presentation or with live video streaming). Originally designed for investor communications, they are now also a powerful tool for compliance officers.
If it is “only” a matter of one-way communication – i.e. updates from compliance regarding updated regulations, new processes or similar – the intranet or – if necessary – an email distribution list are still good options. The most important thing is to keep communication channels open, communicate proactively and always make it possible for employees to ask follow-up questions.
Another consequence of the coronavirus: classroom training on compliance topics, which is usually very popular, has been cancelled. It is worth therefore checking whether you can deliver these training courses using the aforementioned tools. Some of these tools can even be used to display digital whiteboards or mind maps, so the presenter and the participants can still interact. An e-learning system, which ideally already exists in the company, is a good addition.