Roxanne Petraeus on Compliance During Layoffs [Podcast]


Adam Turteltaub PhotoBy Adam Turteltaub

Whether you call it a layoff or a reduction in force (RIF) it’s a stressful time for the organization and the people who work there. Research shows that people under stress don’t make the best decisions, which could raise compliance risk. Plus, it is always feared that some may make retaliation claims in order to preserve their jobs.

Roxanne Petraeus, co-founder and CEO of workplace compliance training company Ethena, says that the good news for compliance teams is that they should continue to focus where they always have: the culture. The bad news is that culture and trust are both damaged during a RIF, which can lead to both an increase in misconduct and a decrease in reporting.

Because of that, communication is more important than ever, she observes. Employees are hungry for more information. And don’t forget another form of communication: just being visible. Let them know that you are there for them.

Other advice she offers:

  • Remind employees about the organization’s policies
  • Embrace the idea that more is better
  • Train effectively in a targeted way, such as focusing on the code of conduct
  • Get in the habit of conducting regular surveys of the workforce

Listen in to learn more about how to better manage compliance programs during layoffs.