A silo mentality occurs when a team attempts to operate alone rather than collaborating with others and considering the wider picture around them. This leads to poor communication, a lack of transparency, inefficiency and sub-optimal outcomes for the customer or end-user. The average team wastes over 20 hours per month due to poor cross-functional collaboration, a problem that risks becoming exacerbated with the rise of remote work.
In the case of compliance management, working in siloes increases the risk of going off-brand, investing in the wrong technology, or failing to plan ahead for strategic changes at the organisational level. This not only impacts the bottom line in terms of wasted time and money, but detracts from the employee experience and could lead to higher attrition amid Australia’s ongoing talent shortage.
In this article, we explore some of the sure-fire ways to bust siloes in your organisation and nominate the three most important teams for cross-functional collaboration in compliance management.
How to bust siloes in your organisation
Focus on integration: Poorly integrated software tools can create data siloes that lead to duplication, opacity and inefficiency. A key giveaway that data siloes exist is when your team regularly has to email other teams to request a document or a report, then wait while the other function gets around to it. Ideally, there should be a free flow of information between all teams and systems through seamless platform integration.
Create shared goals: Even when two functions appear to have little in common at the operational level, it’s always possible to discover shared goals by focusing on the organisation’s high-level priorities. This will encourage the adoption of a big-picture mindset rather than a narrow focus on your own team’s targets. Creating shared targets immediately opens up the opportunity for teams to assist each other in reaching their goals.
Meet and greet: Many managers become frustrated at a lack of collaboration between functions without considering the simple question: have you given the different teams a chance to get to know each other? Setting aside time for a face-to-face or remote meet and greet session will pay dividends in terms of better communication and collaboration.
Create cross-functional teams: Take a project-based approach and create cross-functional teams with expertise in different fields. Having employees with different perspectives work together can lead to increased innovation, better decision-making and smarter problem-solving.
Three functions to focus on cross-functional collaboration
Ideally, every function across the organisation will share data through integrated systems and work closely together towards a series of common targets. But as you work towards that aspirational goal, here are the three functions that the workforce compliance team should prioritise building better relationships with.
Depending on your organisation’s structure, the workforce compliance team may already be a part of the HR team. But there are many different levels and responsibilities within HR that need to fit together seamlessly. For example, the compliance team needs to work with strategic decision-makers (potentially at the CHRO level) to understand future needs – will the organisation hire more or fewer people in the future? Will the mix of employees versus contractors remain the same or begin to change?
HR may also be responsible for improving employee experience (although this responsibility may be disseminated throughout the company). If there is a dedicated team, leverage their expertise to help smooth out time-consuming and manual processes to make compliance as pain-free as possible.
Choosing the right workforce compliance platform for your organisation’s needs is a complex decision. The solution may already exist as a module within the company’s end-to-end ERP, or could be part of a best-in-class tech stack made of multiple, integrated parts.
IT Procurement can assist with supplier discovery and selection, negotiating favourable contractual terms and gathering input from all relevant stakeholders such as HR, IT and Legal. But it is important for the compliance manager to retain control when it comes to the decision-making process; after all, you are the subject-matter expert.
Large organisations often employ a Chief Risk Officer (CRO) in charge of identifying, assessing and mitigating all types of risk to the business. Regulatory risk is a key part of their portfolio, which is why they are a key stakeholder for the compliance management team. Together, compliance and risk management can create a risk register that identifies what might go wrong, likelihood of occurrence, and prevention/mitigation strategies.
The compliance team should also keep the CRO informed of regulatory changes coming down the pipeline so they can assess a new piece of legislation’s impact on the business and any new risk exposure it will bring.