Building Compliance Into Business Operations

Ensure compliance program impact with reduced business drag

Preventing non-compliance and misconduct

As business models continue to evolve, building a corporate compliance program that can keep up with laws, emerging regulations and new risks is proving to be more and more difficult. And with the 24/7 news cycle, maintaining compliance is critical to upholding your company's reputation.

Yet only 16% of compliance and ethics leaders feel confident in their ability to add meaningful insights on risk throughout the organization, and less than a third feel confident in their ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of their program.

Why compliance programs fail

Many compliance executives build subpar, yet costly, compliance programs in fear of worst-case scenarios. They focus on expanding coverage of activities to all necessary risks — layering compliance activities on top of current business workflows and systems.

Unfortunately, these typical “bolt-on” compliance investments put an unnecessary burden on the business, are easy for employees to avoid and often have unclear benefits.  


A better way forward: Built-in compliance

To establish a program that truly prevents the organization and employees from breaking laws and regulations, reducing drag on the business is a critical priority for compliance leaders.

To be impactful, compliance programs must be built into the operations of the business rather than functioning as a separate process tacked onto employee workflows and systems.


What does built-in compliance look like?

Collaboration is key to eliminating redundancies

To improve your compliance program, you must first understand your functional partners’ activities and identify areas for closer cooperation. Ask your partners a set of key questions to create visibility and assess feasibility.

Three ways to build compliance into the workflow

To reduce business drag and increase program impact, it’s critical for compliance to become part of the standard workflow. Achieve this with three changes to your compliance program. 

Assess your program’s performance

The pace of corporate change is leading to higher business demand, yet compliance budgets are flat or even decreasing. It’s hard to do more with less, especially without a clear action plan to help compliance identify and execute on the trade-offs it must make to best support program goals.

We can help you

Gartner helps compliance and ethics leaders design an effective program, assess performance and develop staff skills and partnerships. Use our suite of free resources to understand how we can support your compliance initiatives.

The topics we cover include:

  • Compliance function strategy, structure and metrics

  • Compliance talent management

  • Code and policy management

  • Allegations reporting and investigations

  • Compliance risk response strategies

Tools to improve your compliance program


Program Effectiveness: From Bolt-On to Built-In Compliance

Typical compliance activities function like “bolt-ons” — an unsustainable approach. Learn how built-in compliance reduces business drag and increases program impact.


Key Questions for Your Functional Partners

Similar assurance activities cause unnecessary burden on employees. Understand how to improve cross-functional collaboration in compliance program activities.

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