10 signs you’re an annoying compliance officer

You care more about making friends than making rules

A great compliance officer will see where trouble could arise and put appropriate rules in place to avoid any issues happening. However, if you are too worried about offending or upsetting people then it could mean that you don’t put preventative rules in place which lead to you wasting time fixing problems rather than stopping them in their tracks. Of course, it’s important that you get on with your co-workers but it’s more important that you do a good job!

You are a worry wart

As you well know your role as a compliance officer is to make sure that your company is in full compliance with all national and international laws and regulations. It can be worrying if you realise you are breaching any laws or regulations, however, you are the person who everyone expects to keep it all together when things don’t quite go to plan. You should be calm under pressure and show no signs of cracking when things get tough. If you fall apart when you hear there is a problem, then you are probably an annoying compliance officer.

You don’t follow the rules

Isn’t it annoying when someone tells you to do something and then they don’t do it themselves? If you are constantly skirting around or avoiding rules, then your staff members are going to get very frustrated at you. How can you set a good example to follow company policies and procedures when you don’t follow them yourself! Integrity is one of the most important traits of a good compliance officer.

You take new regulations as they come

Do you take new regulations as they come and communicate exactly what you read for staff to follow? This is a big mistake. You must pick every new regulation apart, assess how it affects everyone in your company and figure out creative ways to get all employees to understand it. If you are skimping on the details then you are going to leave your co-workers feeling confused and irritated.

You avoid disciplining staff and leave it up to other senior members

In order for staff to take compliance seriously and follow guidelines, they must take you seriously. If you never discipline staff when things go wrong, or leave it up to their managers then no one is going to view you as a figure of authority. A lot of compliance officer work in a bubble believing their role is ONLY to keep the business compliant, this view is floored. You need to work with your other directors to keep the business running smoothly, this includes people management and ensuring employees are aware of your importance. You have one of the most important roles in the business, so you need to lead by example and let people know when they are doing wrong.

You don’t like small-talk

Now of course not many of us enjoy small-talk but we engage in it because it helps build relationships and makes us more approachable to our coworkers. Small-talk is especially important for senior members of the team because it breaks down the barriers between more junior level employees. As a compliance officer it can be easy to get bogged down in the detail and day-to-day responsibilities of your role, but in order to be more approachable and make employees feel like they can come to you with an issue, small-talk is essential. If you don’t, it can leave your co-workers feeling like they have no-one to turn to when there is a compliance issue.

You don’t want to annoy people with more internal audits

You try not to be annoying by not enforcing more internal audits. The only problem with this is that you don’t know if laws are being violated and corporate policies are being followed. By not keeping a regular check with audits, you could end up with an even bigger problem to fix later on. This will really annoy your co-workers when you take up an even larger chunk of their time which could have been prevented in the first place. If you have to implement more internal audits, fully explain why and how it will save time in the future.

You make employees do really long training courses

Yes, mandatory training is essential for compliance, but that doesn’t mean that it has to take up everyone’s time. If you carry out long training courses you are really going to frustrate employees and make them resent you and your compliance training.

Staff can learn all compliance regulations quickly and simply with microlearning, perfect for mandatory training. No one likes the formal tests that typical LMSs subject employees to. Instead of a 45-minute course that tests, why not use microlearning or gamification to embed knowledge. They fit flexibly into staff’s daily routines meaning no one has to worry about it interfering with their own responsibilities. 

You have favourites

You will quickly make enemies if you have favourite members of staff within the company. If there is a breach, a good compliance officer must be fair and must assess every fact and circumstance in order to reach a justified conclusion. You must interview all employees involved with no bias whatsoever, only then can you review all of the evidence to enforce discipline.

You get flustered when you have to work on multiple projects

Staying compliant requires constant monitoring and analysing multiple different situations at the same time. If you get annoyed every time a new issue is thrown at you by a member of staff than your co-workers are going to become frustrated with your ability to keep the business under control. The minute you take your eye off the ball is the minute that compliance levels can dip.


Other posts that may be of interest to you:

The easiest way to ensure regulatory compliance in your business

5 common compliance issues and how you can solve them

5 Creative ways to get staff engaged with policies or procedures

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 20th February 2019