Few people doubt that the job of a compliance officer is difficult. Finding coping mechanisms can imply the difference between a mediocre and a successful compliance function. The number of regulations and responsibilities that many compliance officers are expected to manage is always increasing. Furthermore, some compliance officers at some organizations lack the leadership support they need to do their jobs effectively.
In the ever-changing professional compliance environment, things might get so convoluted that they can affect one’s well-being and mental health. Compliance is often thought to be a difficult field. Experts say compliance officers are more likely to experience anxiety, despair, or burnout. According to the Corporate Compliance Insights (CCI) report “Compliance Officer Working Conditions, Stress & Mental Health 2022,” 59% of compliance officers feel burned out. Sixty-nine percent said keeping up with changing regulations is the most difficult aspect of their job.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to compliance leader burnout, but here are three to be aware of, as well as strategies for companies and compliance officers to deal with them effectively in the future.
Being held responsible for breaches outside compliance leaders’ control
A compliance leader, like a CISO, is held accountable for all aspects of compliance, including getting the requisite certifications and reports, ensuring the company passes its audits, and so on. Traditional compliance approaches, however, provide the compliance leader no control over whether or not controls are in place.
Data-oriented compliance can sift through a vast quantity of data and deliver an early warning if it discovers a problem that has to be explored by a security expert or engineer. This lowers the likelihood of a compliance leader being caught off guard by a long-term failure to execute control.
When control is embedded into procedures that a department is actively conducting, it is less likely to be overlooked because it is part of a process that is operationally important to the organization.
Considering compliance to be a chore
When compliance is viewed as a burden on stakeholders with no tangible benefit to the company, a compliance leader may struggle to be recognized as a key player, which can lead to burnout. Internal stakeholders may view compliance requirements as adding to their workload, leaving them to document processes and track down documentation when an audit is due.
Compliance leaders will obtain greater cooperation and respect from other departments if they implement automation that relieves the burden on stakeholders and frames compliance-related requests around the needs and schedules of other departments.
Lowering compliance-related work for other departments reduces friction with stakeholders and allows them to understand the value compliance offers to the company.
Identifying a strategy to make controls pertinent to a team or department and reducing the number of compliance activities they must perform will enhance the likelihood of them being handled successfully, and the compliance team will be perceived as less intrusive.
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Lack of support from management
Compliance officers often believe they have little control over issues for which they may be held liable, and they do not receive adequate funding from management to carry out their responsibilities.
Compliance leaders with a seat at the table have more input and control. By proving how compliance provides value to the company’s operations, they can earn that seat. In order to address risk quantification, one technique is to use data from primary sources. With continuously available data, putting a dollar and cents value on risk is more precise and easier than with traditional risk management methods. This allows management to properly prioritize risk and understand where money should be spent. When it comes to compliance-related choices, the compliance leader who delivers operational value is more likely to get more cash and be consulted.
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