Failing to comply with your legal compliance requirements or meet government regulations has been and will always be one of the greatest risks to your business. Whilst there are till the not negotiables of compliance such as safety, privacy, bullying, harassment and discrimination, depending on the industry you operate in, compliance requirements can be vary significantly…

Unfortunately, compliance management can be a challenging feat without the right tools in place. Traditional systems including paper-based documents have failed time and again in keeping up with the rapidly changing compliance requirements. This failure has levied great non-compliance costs on many businesses. Technology to automate compliance management is essential to organisations in today’s business scenario. In fact, one might say that technology now underpins and robust compliance regime and is fast becoming part of the ‘all reasonable steps’ conversation.

Interestingly the conversation about which function compliance sits within an organisation continues, and whilst it is a part of everyone’s day today, and a manager’s responsibility to set and maintain standards, at the end of the day somebody has to own it. Compliance often starts with the corporate services, human resources or HSEQ, of an organisation, or it may be a share responsibility. Either way, the selection of the right system or system when it comes to human resource management systems and safety management systems is an important part of your overall workplace relations and safety agenda.

The Role of HRMS in Compliance Management

1. HR policy development

Every organisation needs HR policies in place to help guide employees about the quality of work and standard of workplace behaviours expected from them. HR policies are often formulated relevant to the local, federal, or international compliance regulations that are relevant to the business. HRMS software help distribute business-specific policies and procedures which you can introduce to your staff when they start. Some human resource systems also come with built-in HR policy templates that can be customised as per your business and implemented easily. The best HR systems enable you to create, maintain and distribute HR policies, and also report who has done what and to have that day, date, time stamped. Furthermore, you can show repeated sign off on a policy over time, so e.g. Bob has completed the code of conduct policy when he started and then every two years for the last ten years. This is the level of reportability that adds strength in the event of an incident or an investigation.

2. HR education and training

Every employee in your organisation must be aware of your HR policies to abide by and bring innovation to the existing system. However, in the eyes of the law, just having HR policies in place is not enough, because all reasonable steps requires us to have provided training on the same, particularly for areas such as work health and safety, privacy, bullying, harassment and discrimination. HRMS that has compliance and/or learning module, can be the right platform to provide your employees with compliance training. Employees also feel more empowered to perform better as per the applicable guidelines. Some HRMS software let you design and implement customised workplace compliance training courses to enhance the employee onboarding program. An example is the Sentrient HR system which offers the best compliance training courses to meet legislation for Australia and New Zealand, as well as allowing clients to build their own content for any specific compliance requirements they may have.

3. Self-service records management

Maintaining employee records is a primary human resource compliance requirement for all organisations. HR personnel spend hours collecting and storing important documents from each employee at the beginning of and throughout their tenure. These documents may include qualification details, licenses, checks, etc. An HRMS software that comes with a robust records management feature can help streamline this process by providing self-service records management where employees can easily upload and update the required documents. It can also help set automated reminders for expiry to stay compliant and provide HR personnel with some free time to focus on other important tasks. One of the stand out features of the Sentrient HRMS is that its records management feature allows you to automatically request records from new starters, or to do the same as a once off at any point in time. There is a robust workflow in place for validation and sign off by a compliance manager, and that record can then become compliant. The ongoing reminders when things are coming up to expiry that are sent to a staff, manager and compliance manager can be configured to meet the specific requirements of an organisation. Everything is automated, documented and reportable and most importantly, it can be done on any device, in any location!

4. Audit and compliance reports

Organisational growth strategies are incomplete without HR audits. HRMS helps safeguard your organisation against unexpected government audits and non-compliance risks by providing ready-made reports for compliance, audit, accreditation, and board reporting when required. These reports can be for individual, group, or organisation-wide and help you keep up with compliance ending, overdue, or non-compliant items. A powerful HRMS also backs these reports with automated reminders sent to concerned managers to keep them updated about the compliance status of items. When we compare the Sentrient HRMS with other products that do not have such a strong compliance and auditing bent, we find the gap analysis report is a stand out feature. It allows you to understand who has done what and also if anything has been missed. This report is particularly powerful for those businesses that work in industries that are audited by external authorities, as it is the first step in preparing for the policies, training and records management audit.

5. Incident, breach, and whistleblower reporting

Incidents that threaten the security and compliance of your business processes, data or security breach and whistleblowing must all be reported as per regulatory guidelines. An HRMS that comes with an incident reporting tool can also help HR personnel and other employees here. It can serve as a tool to report all the incidents, breach, or whistleblowing in your workplace. The reports can be customised and recorded as per your company policies. These reports can also be resolved easily using the HRMS.

6. Compliance and safety surveys

Compliance and the demonstration of having a work health and safety culture must be checked regularly. HRMS can help create employee surveys to receive feedback on the level of adherence to regulations. Organisations can customise these surveys to include many types of close-ended and open-ended question sets such as yes/no, multiple-choice, ratings, free-text response, etc. These surveys help decision-makers get a peek into the employee-level safety and compliance scenario. Of course, what we need to be mindful of when seeking feedback, is that we can then demonstrate action has been taken, and that is what makes for solid workplace relations and safety program. Often policy development, training (or re-training), or capturing of a risk assessment are actions that are taken after such surveys, and systems like Sentrient HRMS allows you to document this whole process.

The modern user-friendly dashboards help the HR personnel and managers in your organisation to set up a robust compliance regime in your organisation using HRMS. It can be set up within minutes and used easily for all human resource and compliance management tasks. It is a powerful tool that helps your business processes, activities, and practices to stay compliant with governing regulations and your business goals.

Conclusion:

Human resource management systems help reduce non-compliance risks and costs. When done right, compliance management through HRMS also helps retain skilled staff. Employees stay longer and put in their best efforts at an organisation that can make them feel challenged, empowered, and valued.

Sentrient HR offers a compliance management system that can help your organisation customise policies, compliance courses, report incidents, and conduct surveys at every stage of compliance. Contact us for more information today!