Does Your Compliance Team Have a Retention Problem?

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Does Your Compliance Team Have a Retention Problem?

How do you fix a talent leak? Wretched retention rates are an employer’s worst nightmare. Businesses have a greater need for highly skilled GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) professionals than ever – why are so many of them struggling to retain their people?

Knowing the ‘why’ is the best first step on the road to a satisfied workforce. We’ve been talking to a range of incredible compliance candidates lately and a few familiar themes cropped up. Here’s what our network had to say.

A Lack of Recognition

Win as a team, fail as a team, whatever happens, you do it together. It’s a nice thought, but are the leaders thinking about it? Some of our candidates recounted their managerial horror stories over the last few months, many of which were linked to a common antagonist: the credit-hogging manager.

When the job gets done right, the manager takes the credit, but when it’s done badly, the team takes the fall. This is not compliance exclusive by any means, but it’s pronounced in a space that’s already calling out for greater recognition.

No one enjoys feeling undervalued, unrecognised, under-appreciated, or downright taken for granted. Compliance professionals are the stalwart lines of business defence and enablement, yet their behind-the-scenes position means they tend to miss out on enjoying the same rewards and recognition as their front-of-house counterparts.

It’s said that you don’t leave a job, you leave a manager. This seems to ring true as reports of an ‘empathy void’ roll in. That said, it doesn’t reveal the whole story…

A Rotten Culture

Departmental friction is all but guaranteed for compliance pros. Compliance functions naturally slow down the rate of transactions, adding an extra layer of complication to the mix. When other functions (sales, for example) see this ‘extra barrier’ as a hideous affront to their working day, teams get siloed, critical work is overlooked, and people get frustrated.

Unfortunately, it’s often the catalyst for poor retention rates, and it’s indicative of a rotten company culture. In this case, it’s a problem that (typically) can’t be fixed by the team manager, resulting in a whole lot of individualised blame when the majority of the fault lies in a lack of organisational understanding when it comes to the compliance function.

No Room to Progress

A lack of progress has left some of our most talented candidates feeling like a stagnant pond. Whether they’ve learnt all they can from an uninspired manager or there’s no space to progress into, a lack of movement is an alarming prospect.

While there is occasionally scope for rapid progression in a candidate-short climate, it’s not necessarily the long-term kind that candidates are searching for. In a financial services space that offers little variety when it comes to salary and benefits, career progression has grown to become a primary differentiator for compliance candidates.

No Flexible Working Options

Flexible working is not a trend, it’s a touchstone of the modern career, an enticing prospect for talent, and for many hiring managers, the harbinger of unwanted friction. To some, in-person work is nothing more than a dusty relic. We often hear it put this way:

‘I can do 80% of my work from home, and yet I’m still mandated to attend the office 5 days a week. What’s the point of following the rules when the rules don’t make sense?’

In-person working certainly has unique benefits. A week of bleak commutes under dreary dawns is not one of them. We saw this remote work dilemma come to a head for someone in our network a few weeks ago – they were willing to take a 50% pay cut on a wage of £100,000 to get their flexibility back.

A working model, hybrid or otherwise, needs to make sense to the workforce. Hybrid working has risen to become a major talent attraction point. The companies doing it best can justify their reasons for requesting a return to the office, they’re role-specific, and they have an inclusive environment that accommodates the needs of both remote and in-person workers.

How Do You Fix the Leak?

Compliance functions have evolved substantially in recent years, largely due to the unprecedented regulatory change. Defining a role in compliance is now tougher than it used to be, partly due to the behavioural changes demanded by the modern function. In financial services, a move to a consumer-centric future is underway. Succeeding under this ‘new paradigm’ will require businesses to nail the basics and sure up their lines of defence.

For those of you looking for some leak-fixing tips, here are a few we’ve seen work:

  • Establish a Culture of Understanding – A lack of organisational buy-in creates friction and disillusionment between departments. Is the purpose of your compliance function understood? Are people aware of its critical importance?

  • Lead with Kindness – Kindness prevails. According to a recent study, 87% of employees say empathy is the key to fostering a more inclusive working environment.

  • Prioritise D&I – D&I has been a growing topic in the financial services world for a while, spurred on by governing bodies like the FCA and PRA. D&I is not a ‘nice to have,’ it’s an inextricable piece of the business puzzle.

  • Implement Regular L&D Opportunities – Learning and development opportunities engage your employees, upskills them, and unlocks doors to career progression, it’s a win for them and a win for the business. This training must be targeted to have any kind of meaningful effect. Which parts of your compliance function are underperforming? If you don’t know, training likely won’t make a difference.

Support from Broadgate

If you’re suffering from retention troubles, you’re not alone, and you’re not helpless either. The Broadgate team are equipped to deliver bespoke recruitment solutions that you can rely on. We’re not just recruitment consultants, we’re dependable talent advisors. Reach out to us today to start the conversation – we’re here to help.

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