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Rethink the people side of compliance – Part I: Skills

Isa Dora de Maddalena Manager, People & Organisation Consulting, PwC Switzerland 15 Feb 2021

Our insight paper Future of Compliance: Not sleeping at night introduced three important areas to consider when evolving compliance: people, technology and operating model. This chapter on people as one part of this trilogy focuses on skills of employees and culture in an organisation.

Compliance into the future

More and more compliance processes are getting automated to move compliance up the value stream and to increase value generation. Although automation streamlines processes and fosters and supports compliance, compliance will still be the responsibility of people. In order to succeed you need staff who can keep up with rapid technology development and capable of contributing to strategic discussions. Therefore, you have to ensure the right skill set is available. How do you ensure this?

Getting a clear picture of the future skills required

Digital programmes and initiatives shift talent needs in terms of hard skills, soft skills and mindsets. In order to know what skills you need in the future, having a clear picture about your organisation’s strategies and initiatives as well as about your own operating model and technology roadmap is key. Starting from there, you determine the most valuable knowledge and skills that your team will need in the future. One way to do this is in workshops together with your people. Always remember that good communication within the team is key at this point. Nevertheless, you can foster your people’s commitment for an eventual upskilling journey and transformation.

Determine the skill gaps

After you’ve identified the skills, you need to compare them with the current state: the skills you have. The simplest way of quantifying your skills gap is by listing the skills you have and the skills you need per FTE and the degree of proficiency.

Shape your team

Once you’ve identified the skills you need and the existing skills gaps, it’s time to work out the measures to bring your compliance team up to speed. There are three options to close the skills gaps.

To close the gaps you can either build, buy or borrow new talents. All three options have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Build - Build the right skills by offering a course curriculum consisting of materials in different modalities and from different sources, and design the learning experience to be as interesting and diversified as possible.

Buy - Consider hiring new talent. You might also want to look outside the industry for people who can bring new perspectives.

Borrow - Depending on your strategy and operating model, borrowing talents, such as using contractors or consultants to fill the gap, could be an option. Particularly if you are struggling to find the right skills on the market.

Changing and enabling the right mindset

To get your compliance team future-ready, building the right skills is one thing. The other essential thing is changing and enabling the right mindset. For instance, thinking and acting proactively will make a significant difference. The risk and the cost of non-compliance are increasingly high for an organisation. Therefore, becoming more proactive by and predicting anticipating compliance breaches becomes imperative and a strategic advantage.

How do you promote the requested mindsets? You need to focus on behaviours first, then mindsets will follow.

Key takeaways and first steps

The challenges for the future compliance function are manyfold and are frequently linked to people topics. Transforming compliance isn’t just about implementing technology and streamlining processes. It’s also about the people, having the right skills, the right mindset and a supporting culture.

If your organisation is changing, and compliance requirements and digital programmes are increasing in number, it’s time to think about how to get your compliance team future-proof:

  • Identify the required skills and skills gaps
  • Work out appropriate measures to close the gaps and shape your team
  • Promote and foster new mindsets and behaviours

Curious to learn more? Read PwC’s Future of Compliance: People deep-dive, Part I – Skills, and reflect on the skills and mindsets required to shape your future compliance team. You can also contact us directly to learn how your organisation could benefit the most.

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Are you curious about how you can build the right compliance team with the right skills to get your function future-proof? For more details check out our deep-dive paper!

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Contact us

Isa Dora de Maddalena

Isa Dora de Maddalena

Manager, People & Organisation Consulting, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 157 27 56

Sadat  Alimi

Sadat Alimi

Advisory Senior Manager, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 1477