Every business should have a compliance program in order to mitigate risk and satisfy regulations. Although a compliance program often exists within organizations, the question of effectiveness arises when there is no policy assessment and management strategy. It’s commonly said that you can only improve what you measure, and the same applies to your compliance program. Fortunately, advancements in technology and robust internal practices can support your compliance initiatives and minimize the inherent angst of potential non-compliance.

As with many other areas of business, developing clear policies and procedures is the cornerstone of an effective compliance program because it’s a way of governing the actions of personnel across the organization. Adherence to internal policies and procedures is designed to maximize business outcomes and mitigate risk. A compliance program should include written policies and procedures, staff training, ongoing assessment and oversight for enforcement. A quality management system can also support your compliance program.

There are software programs that can simplify the enforcement of policies and procedures by monitoring adherence on a regular basis. These programs provide a wealth of information and insights concerning opportunities for training based on knowledge gaps. It’s a tool that can also be used in the development of employee training and development programs aimed at compliance initiatives, productivity and any other purpose that aligns with your business goals.

One way in which companies simplify their compliance program is by using software that tracks policy acknowledgements. This allows you to more easily disseminate policies organization-wide and track completion. It also provides an opportunity to revisit policies when situations of non-compliance arise. Given the change in employment laws on an annual basis, simplification is critical. Auditors and managers across the organization are able to review reports confirming compliance with internal policies and labor law regulations.

Companies that have used document management systems to develop, revise and track policies in the past, recognize the tremendous value of automated systems with advanced features. For example, there are automated software programs that edit policies, forward them to the appropriate list of employees and track completion. Some programs also provide alert systems for notification based on defined criteria. If an employee fails a test, the assigned supervisor would receive an alert so the any necessary follow up can occur. This facilitates a streamlined path to additional training and subsequent testing.

Software programs that support compliance initiatives can work across many areas of an organization. There are employment laws that require annual training, as well as tracking of completion certificates. Attempts at manually tracking required training can quickly become a nightmare for HR professionals. Automated programs can issue training to the right personnel and prepare reports that allow you to confirm completion. It’s one of the best ways to ensure compliance will internal policies, local laws and federal regulations.

As a result of increasing labor law regulations, it’s important to clearly track compliance. Software programs in the marketplace today provide an audit trail that allows you to easily confirm compliance.