Compliance Lessons from Game Night


Margaret ScavottoBy Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC
President, Management Performance Associates

When my family gets together, we play games.

Specifically, we play Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition.

In this game, one person selects a black card with a question or incomplete phrase. Everyone else selects a white card, with words or a phrase to complete the question or phrase on the black card. The person with the black card selects the funniest white card/black card combination, and the person who put down that white card is the winner.

The last time we played, someone chose a black card that said: “What really killed the dinosaurs?”

And the top white card for this round said: “Moving to Ohio.”

Other worthy contenders were: “Famous peanut scientist George Washington Carver”; “Math”; and “The gym teacher.”

But, “Moving to Ohio” was the clear winner. These things don’t go together. I’m not a paleontologist, but I can tell you that at the time of the dinosaurs’ extinction, Ohio definitely did not exist. And yet, this nonsensical combination won the game. People laughed. Some people laughed so hard they cried. One person laughed so hard that s/he fell out of a chair.

This can happen at work too. And it can be a good thing.

When bad combinations add up to a win:
Compliance education and… The bathroom

Compliance is serious business. Surely it has no place in the bathroom?

Until the day it makes perfect sense to bring compliance into the bathroom.

A healthcare provider client was struggling to change staff behavior related to social media. They tried posting reminders and flyers by the time clock. The problem? The wall around the time clock was plastered with posters, many of which have not changed in years. Nobody read the posters.

So arose the idea to combine two things that seemingly do not go together: Compliance education, and the bathroom. Compliance reminders were posted in the bathroom stalls. IT WORKED. We know people read the flyers because the Compliance Officer began receiving lots of questions about the content of the posters. There’s nothing else to read in there – your posters will get a read. We also put posters over drinking fountains and on microwaves.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, to try new ideas, and even to try nonsensical combinations once in a while. It just might work.