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Compliance Failures Due to Employee Burdens

Compliance Failures Due to Employee Burdens

Sept. 15, 2021
32% of employees surveyed said they couldn’t find relevant information when they missed a compliance obligation.

Compliance teams that don’t embed their controls into employee processes face a significantly higher rate of compliance failures, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey of 755 employees in April 2021 found these failures linked to unnecessary compliance burdens for employees.

Survey highlights include:

  • 32% of employees surveyed said they couldn’t find relevant information when they missed a compliance obligation;
  • An additional 20% didn’t recognize information was even needed;
  • 19% simply didn’t remember.
  • The remaining 29% of employees who missed a compliance step said they didn’t understand (16%) or just failed to execute the step (13%).

“Creating rules and obligation for employees without properly integrating them into the processes these employees have to carry out leads to multiple causes of control failure where employees can’t find or comprehend the information they need, or don’t recognize or remember when it is needed,” said Chris Audet, senior director, research in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice. “Embedding controls led to a 30% drop in the number of employees who report they are highly burdened in this way by compliance obligations.”

“The survey also showed nearly one in five employees missed at least one compliance obligation where guidance was not embedded,” said Audet. “Embedded controls help to reduce the burden employees face in remembering, understanding and executing on compliance obligations and that in turn, this leads to reduced risk.”

Compliance teams typically embed controls into processes relating to the most high-risk employee functions, seniority levels, and tasks. However, compliance burden is also driving risk in organizations, leading to control failures.

“Compliance burden might be generating risk in the functions, employee levels, and in the tasks compliance has attended to least,” said Audet. “Identifying where compliance burden is highest in an organization will highlight areas that are ripe for embedded controls.”

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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