The development of a solid E&O culture is definitely not something that you mention once and expect the staff to abide by whatever they were told. To develop a solid E&O culture requires a continuous message to the staff.
How is this typically done? Some common (and unique) approaches to consider:
– During those times that management addresses the staff, it would certainly be appropriate for there to be some inclusion of comments pertaining to E&O loss prevention. Many staff may need to be provided the “why” behind the E&O message. This will help them understand the importance. A key element is that management is viewed as “walking the walk and talking the talk”. Without this, the comments will be viewed as shallow and not truly sincere.
– Including E&O discussion during the agency staff meetings. The topic could be on E&O in general or on one specific item such as documentation, sign off on client buying decisions, watching the words used either in print materials or verbally. Many agencies have commented that they have used articles in this blog to help strengthen the message with the staff.
– Messages around the office. What do I mean by this? A good example deals with the importance of documentation. There is a common phrase used in the court room that “if it is not in the file, it didn’t happen”. I have seen agencies that have these words put on paper and displayed in various ways around the agency.
– Celebration of results. It is important for staff to see the good things that are happening in the agency and that the procedures are being followed. This is a primary purpose of internal auditing; to determine to what degree the various processes and procedures are being completed. Assuming the results are positive, there should be a celebration of some type. If some of the staff are not adhering to the required procedures, they should be asked to develop an action plan on how they are going to change the results moving forward.
A strong E&O culture requires a consistent message that shows the required commitment. It does not happen overnight. By finding ways to keep E&O loss prevention “front and center” demonstrates that this is an issue the agency is very serious about and each member of staff should be serious about as well.