The role of IFM in achieving critical compliance goals

16 August 2019

With increasing globalisation, industries and organisations are faced with complex and ever-changing regulatory requirements both at a domestic and international level. Non-compliance exposes businesses to high risks and penalties. It can also weigh heavily on the company’s reputation. As regulations evolve, organisations are reaching out to their facilities management partners to work jointly on compliance management.

Surprising? Here’s why.

Earlier, the scope of facilities management was limited to janitorial services. Over time, the role has evolved to encompass a spectrum of operational elements to ensure the smooth functioning of organisations’ non-core yet critical processes. Facilities management has expanded to include seamless integration of people, systems, processes and technologies. Consequently, Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) partners have access to real-time company information pertaining to these areas. This makes facilities management partners best-suited to fulfil the compliance-related obligations of a company. Hence, compliance management is an integral aspect of IFM players’ value-added responsibility matrix.

Addressing the diverse complexities of compliance requirements requires a comprehensive approach – be it Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) measures, operational protocols, environmental norms and workplace ethics.

An integrated approach to the following functions holds opportunities for facilities management players:

1. Regulatory laws

Businesses need to review their regulatory compliance practices regularly to maintain adherence. IFM players can guide organisations in:

  • Mitigating the risks of non-compliance by ensuring complete adherence to regulatory requirements governing the business
  • Leveraging secretarial compliances for the benefit of the organisation
  • Developing a safety-oriented work culture

2. Cybersecurity protocols

The modern, connected workplace has to be protected against cyber-risks. These include myriad of threats such as data breaches, hacking, spam, phishing, ransomware etc. IFM players can set up operational protocols that protect the organisation from such risks. They can guide organisations in:

  • Setting up a secure firewall to minimise the occurrence of adverse incidents
  • Inculcating cyber hygiene and awareness as a part of the employee culture
  • Conducting a comprehensive cybersecurity assessment programme on a continuous basis

3. Environment norms

Disposal of hazardous materials, waste discharge and greenhouse emissions are regulated by domestic and international environment protection bodies. Facilities managers can assist organisations in this direction by:

  • Recognising environment-related compliances which are mandatory as well as those that are good to implement for long-term sustainability
  • Ensuring that all the fixtures, appliances and procedures optimise the resources used
  • Preventing and managing waste

4. Workplace environment

A comfortable and clean working environment enables employees to focus on their work and drive productivity. Facilities managers can enable the creation of a productive workplace by:

  • Ensuring that employees have access to a productive work environment at all times
  • Safeguarding fundamental employee rights such as privacy, confidentiality and timely salary pay-outs
  • Spreading awareness about company policies relating to the work environment through regular training sessions

To successfully execute the above compliance measures, IFM players work in tandem with in-house departments. These include human resources, operations, IT, finance, legal and security.

Working with an IFM partner overcomes the shortcomings of a more traditional approach. It makes it possible for organisations to design a more agile and flexible compliance management solution. Automation enables continuous risk and control monitoring. With holistic visibility, there is consistency in methodology and reporting across the organisation, making compliance processes more efficient.

In the end, an IFM player can bring together governance, risk management and compliance to improve consistency, transparency, cost-efficiency and accountability.

An ESPL Expert can walk you through the compliance management process and put an integrated system into place that reduces risk for your entire organisation. To start a conversation, click here.

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