Humans often make mistakes, and it is inevitable that some of them will also happen in the workplace. In fact, human error is the number one cause of workplace incidents, from cybersecurity issues to injuries.
When it comes to regulatory compliance, these errors can have devastating consequences, from legal and financial penalties to serious reputational damage. No matter how well-intentioned your employees are, if they fail to meet regulatory compliance, you risk facing these repercussions.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate human error, it can be reduced significantly. Here are 4 steps you can take to mitigate human errors and improve compliance.
Understand the sources of human errors
If you want to prevent human errors, one of the first steps you should take is trying to understand why they happen in the first place.
There can be many possible causes of human errors. From lack of motivation and engagement to responsibility overload and unrealistic expectations, even the employers themselves can be responsible for these errors.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of human errors. One of the classifications defines three distinct types of errors.
The first type includes human errors due to a lack of skills. They occur when employees don’t execute the tasks correctly. The second type of error occurs when an employee doesn’t possess proper knowledge or doesn’t possess enough of it. Finally, there are rule-based errors. They occur either when employers don’t properly set rules and policies, or when employees don’t follow the rules.
The good thing is, these are all fixable issues and once you recognize them, you can start working on resolving them, which will eventually result in fewer employee errors.
Automate as much as possible
Anyone who has ever been in charge of a menial and repetitive task knows how easy it is to lose focus and slip up. It’s no surprise that when working on such tasks, your employees will make mistakes.
However, when it comes to compliance, the consequences can be too devastating to take simply this risk. That’s why it’s important to automate as many compliance-related tasks as you can.
Many employees probably receive and send over 100 emails on a daily basis and keeping track of email retention policies can easily become overwhelming. Some emails can be retained for just 2 years, while others must be kept for up to 7 years.
With enterprise-grade email archiving solutions, you can automate retention and ensure that your email records are safe and accessible, and most importantly, ensure compliance by eliminating the risk of human error.
Invest in proper training
One of the most effective ways to reduce human error is by educating your employees and raising awareness about the importance of regulatory compliance.
Providing your employees with proper training and proper tools, such as regulatory compliance courses and archiving solutions, will help them bridge any knowledge gaps they may have and provide them with proper resources to ensure compliance.
Without proper training, your employees will be left in the dark and forced to guess what they should do. However, regulatory compliance is not a guessing game. It requires having well-defined policies and protocols and educating your employees on how to execute them.
Compliance training should cover both theory and practice, so your employees not only learn how to ensure regulatory compliance but also understand the importance of following these protocols.
Regularly review your compliance policies
Finally, setting up compliance policies and training your employees on how to follow them isn’t enough.
The world of regulatory compliance is a fast-paced one and you need to stay vigilant in order to avoid any slip-ups. That’s why it’s essential to regularly review your compliance policies and update them according to new laws and regulations.
Even if there are no significant regulatory changes, you should still regularly review your compliance policy in case your business itself has changed.
It also doesn’t hurt to repeat the compliance training from time to time to educate new employees or simply just to refresh the knowledge and skills of your long-term employees, as regulations can be quite complex and easy to forget.
After all, your employees are only humans, and humans inevitably make mistakes. Luckily, there are ways to reduce these errors. Try to understand why they make mistakes, educate them about the importance of regulations, and provide them with the right automation tools that will make meeting compliance easier.