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A compliance manager is a professional that keeps the legal and ethical integrity of a company intact through policy enforcement and program planning. They make sure all departments of a business are complying with the rules and regulations the company upholds. Compliance managers are responsible for keeping up to date with changing laws that affect the corporate world and are responsible for preparing reports to present to their upper management detailing these laws and how the employees of the company are following them.
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Compliance managers work to identify where issues with legality and ethics within a company are taking place and then fix these problems quickly and effectively. Depending on where these problems occur, serious compliance problems may result in legal consequences or firing of the individual breaching compliance within the company. Compliance managers work with upper levels of management to ensure strategies are in place to deal with compliance problems when they occur before the reputation and integrity of the company and its staff are jeopardized.
Apart from working with upper management, compliance managers are responsible for creating and enforcing plans of action related to ethical and legal behavior within the company. Compliance managers must also assign different sections of the amount of work that need to be done by other members of the compliance team, as well as setting up team and group meetings and the materials that will be discussed during the assigned time. Along with creating and organizing short-term goals for their department, compliance managers must create long-term goals and plans for methods that will ensure no illegal activities occur within the workplace.
Compliance managers must be able to recognize the seriousness of an ethics breach within the company. After the level of the breach has been established, the managers will use their professional knowledge to decide the fates of people involved in the situation at hand. Ethical behavior in the workplace is a must, and compliance managers see to it that when illegal or unethical conduct is at hand it must be dealt with immediately. Compliance managers see to it that there are multiple options available to the upper management in terms of punishment or termination and then help them make their final decision.
Many compliance managers work outside of human resources as well. The financial department of any company will often hire compliance managers to see that their finance department is running correctly, without any foul play. Manufacturing companies and financial institutions use compliance managers to see that all of their departments are running free of corruption and unethical behavior.
Quality assurance departments are also excellent places for compliance managers to work. Making sure that products are safe for human consumption, whether in the food industry or other manufacturing industry, is a tough job that suits the work ethics of a member of compliance management very well. Like they can in the financial and HR worlds, ethics can easily slip in the production world as well. Compliance managers see to it that all safety regulations and laws are followed; and when they aren’t, the managers work with executives, management, and board members to see that the problems are taken care of and solved as quickly and as effectively as possible.
Compliance managers should have great leadership capabilities with the natural ability to solve serious problems. They should also have excellent logical thinking skills without having lost the ability to think outside the box. These skills are crucial to a candidate for a position as a manager in the compliance department, as they will have to address problems involving legality and ethics that could tarnish the reputation of the company they work for.
Compliance managers should also have keen communication and listening skills. These will be important during meetings with upper management if a problem arises. They are also useful during meetings where compliance managers will need to update members of their workplace team about changes in conduct codes and other situations regarding ethics. Since compliance managers must build trust with the other people they work for, being able to communicate effectively with coworkers is an absolute must, but they must also be able to establish a certain level of authority within the workplace.
A person that is considering a career in compliance would be best suited pursuing a degree such as law enforcement administration or criminal justice. Any degree with a background in law is useful, as the job deals mainly with the legal system as well as ethics. Criminal justice degrees present scholars with leadership experience as well as a deep understanding of policy and rights.
Compliance managers work closely with other people in a team setting generally in an office within the company building, such as in the HR department, legal services, or financial offices.
The workplace of a compliance official is a fast-paced environment that must be carefully organized. Compliance managers must make the workplace run smoothly with no room for error within the legal and ethical systems to protect the integrity of the company and the reputation of the products the company is known for.