Swagata Roy on Creating a Policy Hierarchy [Podcast]

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Adam Turteltaub PhotoPost by Adam Turteltaub

Every organization has policies, typically many of them, and often varying by department and location. Getting a handle on all of them can be a difficult task, and ensuring that there is consistency adds a layer of complexity.

Swagata Roy, Director, Compliance Strategy and Performance, Liberty Energy and Water, is an advocate for creating a policy hierarchy. It can help overcome common challenges, she argues, such as keeping policies current, relevant and accessible.

As she explains in the podcast, a policy hierarchy is a partially centralized and partially decentralized approach to managing policies that is risk based. It begins with assigning a level to each policy according to the risk and how widely applicable it is. At the top would be the code of conduct and those policies addressing the greatest risk areas. Other higher-level policies include those addressing health and safety, privacy, diversity and the environment. All of these tend to be reviewed and approved at the top level of the organization.

Below these policies are ones that are jurisdiction or procedure-based, such as gift and entertainment. And still others fit under these.

Careful thought must be given to ensure that lower-level policies fit squarely under higher level ones and both provide added details and consistency.

Once the hierarchy is created it needs to be monitored on an ongoing basis, she explains, to adjust for regulatory changes.

To get business ownership she offers two pieces of advice. First, make it clear that compliance has centralized the administrative aspects of policy management, which makes it easier for the business team. Second, if your organization has a compliance champions or ambassadors, use them to socialize the hierarchy and act as your eyes and ears.

Listen in to learn more about creating an effective compliance policy hierarchy.