Another area where Human Resources can help to more fully operationalize compliance is in succession planning. Succession planning is just as important as governance, enterprise risk management and strategic oversight. In other words, it is just as important. Sadly, many companies fail to give it the attention it requires. A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, found nearly one-half of the more than 1,000 directors gauged reported dissatisfaction with their companies’ succession plans. Imagine what that number would be if they took into account the compliance aspect of succession planning. Some of the questions you might consider are the following. How did you fully operationalize compliance into the business unit that you managed? What controls did you put in place? And then what did you do when you found out about it?

Every time I perform a risk assessment and speak to the company’s HR lead, they immediately understand the role than can play in moving forward a company’s compliance program. Even if the HR role is limited in the hiring process, they can ask potential candidates their views to determine underlying business ethics. HR can also begin the compliance inculcation process, even pre-hiring, by talking about the company’s values in the interview process. This sets an expectation that can be built upon if a candidate is selected and in every HR touch point going forward, including looking at employees in the succession planning process.

Three key takeaways:

  1. Succession planning is just as important as governance, enterprise risk and strategic oversight.
  2. Do not begin your succession planning when a senior manager announces their retirement.
  3. You are always being evaluated (or you should be).