I’ve never come across an ‘insurance policy’ for workplace compliance. That’s because the only protection is in fact having a robust workplace compliance regime in place for your organisation, regardless of your size.

The blind spot for many Australian businesses

Some of Australia’s largest organisations implement highly sophisticated and expensive workplace compliance systems, only to find out years later that less than 50% of their workers are completing the necessary workplace compliance training and policy requirements.

This is because the solution is complex to implement, difficult to understand and stressful to manage. The result is limited take up by managers and workers across the organisation.

The workplace compliance system is seen to be a hindrance, an imposition, something that you avoid at all costs!

Why does this happen?

It happens because a Chairman, Legal Counsel, CEO, Managing Director or senior manager signs off on a workplace compliance solution, with the intent that their managers and workers will understand its importance from both a business risk and workplace culture point of view.

Unfortunately, this does not happen and some years later, what they had thought was an ‘insurance policy’ is actually not, because it has not been implemented appropriately!

When does ‘Murphy’s Law’ prevail?

As is now the normal, at some point there is a workplace incident that brings the business under the microscope in the eyes of the law.

A rogue employ that we probably should have not hired in the first place, has done something unlawful. One of our workers falls victim to this unlawful act and there managers and the executive are in question because as it works out the culprit was in fact one of the 50% that has not completed the necessary compliance training and policy requirements.

There is now a question of vicarious liability that will take up hours of wasted time in mediation and legal hearings and expose the business to damages and media attention that will damage the brand.

What’s worse, people are hurt, your people get disengaged through the process and ultimately trust is broken.

As a good leader it is important that we inspire our people to do the right thing, not just because they have to by law, but simply because they want to do the right thing by their colleagues. To treat them fairly and with respect.

A workplace compliance system to support you with this vision is a fundamental part of every business in the Australian business environment today. Because when people feel safe, they do their best work and this is the golden rule for sustainable business in the digital age!