Now more than ever, there is scrutiny around business regulations that allow them to operate. Organizations are constantly challenged to ensure adherence to compliance standards and ensure their business models are constantly updated to meet legal requirements. As we delve into the new year, let’s look at the top ten compliance challenges that will affect EHS operations in 2021.
- Operational Licenses
Licenses to operate govern the management of stakeholder expectations and it’s essential that companies are managing this in a proactive and strategic manner. Any misstep will impact the ability to access capital and extend operational licenses. It’s therefore important that organizations are seeking ways to actively adapt to changing requirements to remain compliant with stakeholder needs.
Increasing participation from local communities is a good business move as it facilitates communication amongst key stakeholder groups. By having all this information available in a central location, stakeholders can access the information when required and this, in turn, will create a more visible and efficient working environment. In remaining compliant with stakeholder needs and involving them in your business model, your company will gain trust over time which will result in autonomy to operate effectively and to its full potential.
- Environmental Standards and Policies
Bringing sustainability to the forefront of your values ensures you are protecting your business from any unnecessary fines or penalties that come from damages such as wastage or contamination. Companies are finding it a challenge to meet these standards and policies as they are always changing and updating, they are unable to keep track of it. In a 2020 study by Deloitte, it was mentioned that investors are increasingly looking to inject more capital into companies that are emphasising sustainable practices. To be compliant, your company first needs to be aware of all regulatory and statutory changes that apply to your location, role, and industry. Implementing a system that can track and monitor all environmental obligations specific to your company is essential in maintaining a safer work environment.
- Customer Trust
In the current business environment, gaining customer trust and loyalty involves the creation of personalized user experiences that adds value and can be secured. This can often be seen as a challenge, especially for companies with various customers, as they may have conflicting needs and wants that can’t all be addressed. It’s important to ensure each of your customer’s are getting what they need from you without you compromising on your values. Attaining the trust and loyalty of your customers’ will be your competitive advantage.
- Changing Environment
Regarding regulatory compliance, an organization’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing environment and economy is key. It’s crucial that companies maintain a broad macroeconomic view so they can control and plan for any risk or incidents before it occurs. This is also essential in making sure that companies have the tools they need to handle any problem that arises.
- Digital Transformation
Technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cognitive computing, and machine learning, can often be deemed challenging to grasp, especially for companies that are inexperienced with enterprise technology. However, Digital Transformation is essential for business growth and must be considered as a top-line strategy that is in line with operational requirements. It is at the forefront of corporate development; Systems, business processes and tools implemented as part of digital transformation initiatives will enable employees to enhance compliance, safety and efficiencies in the workplace. Partnering with a trusted software provider can be a low-risk option to achieve long term digital goals.
- Data Analytics
As companies expand, the challenges of gaining insights across all aspects of the business grows. In a recent study by PwC from 2020, it was discovered that companies are increasingly struggling to keep track of all their analytical data. The risk arises from the sheer volume of data collected and the inability to run analytics due to incumbent technology or business process issues. Not being able to provide the analytics to requesting parties for timely decision-making gives rise to delayed action and, subsequently, fines and penalties resulting from potential non-compliance to regulations. Executing a system that can simplify the way you view data through personalized and interactive dashboards allows you to make informed decisions and improves understanding across the board.
- Employee Satisfaction
Job satisfaction amongst employees is an important behavioral indicator that tasks will be completed compliantly and efficiently. Employees who feel appreciated in the workplace, are more likely to complete their jobs properly and in accordance with the rules and regulations set in place. On the other hand, demotivated employees have a higher likelihood of making mistakes or attempt shortcuts in the work they are performing. Keeping employees informed and engaged with instant messaging technology such as Yammer or Slack is relatively straightforward these days. From the angle of Health & Safety specifically, there are also software tools that can be deployed to provide instant updates for tracking and notifications. By implementing technology into your business structure, a lot of tasks become easier to manage which improves the efficiency and motivation of employees. Satisfied employees will contribute to a more compliant and productive workplace.
- Data Protection and Cyber Security
As outlined by EY, 54% of mining companies have had significant cybersecurity incidents in 2020. As digital transformation features more prominently in corporate strategy discussions and organisations are encouraged to embrace new and innovative technologies, it may be difficult for organisations to secure their new digital environments. As a result, companies’ exposure to cyber threats, safety incidents, liability claims, outages across the board, reputational damage, physical damage to assets and data clean-up costs have significantly increased. An innovative cybersecurity strategy and training based on good risk management principles must be applied to maintain compliance amongst employees, thus ensuring privacy and protection. Transitioning your business to a cloud platform improves cybersecurity as it is considered a more secure, flexible, and personalised way of operating.
- Regulatory Changes
Organisations need to adapt to new and changing regulations and policies. For instance, there are constant shifts in regulations related to data privacy, trade policies, product development, social issues, and environmental issues. Businesses not keeping up to date with these changes will find themselves susceptible to various penalties for not remaining compliant. In relying on a single employee to track regulations, there are a lot of risks involved in data going missing or not being accessible company wide. An effective way of addressing this challenge would be to implement a technology system, that can be accessed by all employees, to track and report on all regulatory changes, so you don’t have to.
- Preparedness for Risk
In 2020, we saw an extensive change to, both, our lives and the way we operate in the new world of COVID-19. We experienced more uncertainty than we have ever seen before. No one had considered a scenario where most of the global workforce would work remotely and most of the world was unsure how to keep businesses afloat during a global pandemic. This year, it’s important to ensure that your company is remaining compliant with COVID-19 practices. This prepares your business in case of another outbreak like this and ensures you have the correct processes in place to prepare for business continuity. This will become a top concern for 2021 compliance and risk planning for industries.
Managing compliance challenges is essential in ensuring your company is running at its full potential. Tracking environmental, compliances and regulatory obligations can often be a tedious and time-consuming task that can be simplified using INX InForm. InForm provides the tools to manage obligations, stakeholders, issues and communications in one place. It enables you to better understand and interact with obligations, ISO standards and stakeholders through registers that are designed to profile, capture and record information, documents, points of engagement, and establish action plans and record any compliance breaches. Contact us today to learn more about InForm and how other INX solutions can help you get ahead of 2021’s compliance challenges.