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Building a Culture of Compliance

All of our clients want to comply with the laws surrounding the sale of age-sensitive products. But some don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating a culture of compliance. First, you have to realize that your compliance efforts begin at the local store level, and the manager is the person that will make the staff understand the importance of your efforts. So building a culture of compliance begins with clear communication. Here’s what you need to share with employees so they can become active participants in a culture of a compliance.


Share the Risks to Customers


Staff members might initially think that serving underage drinkers is no big deal (especially when they are young themselves). Your goal shouldn’t be to scare them, but rather to stress the very real dangers inherent in serving underage drinkers who may then be getting behind the wheel or making other irresponsible decisions. A culture of compliance will cut down on “over-service” to patrons of all ages as well. Make a connection between the employees’ actions and the potentially deadly result of not monitoring the sale of alcohol.


Share the Risks to the Business


As we’ve discussed before, failing a sting has very real consequences for a business—both financially and in terms of reputation. Creating a culture of compliance means sharing that reality with employees and helping them see how their workplace and their job could be affected by their failure to comply.


Share the Risks to the Employee


Employees who fail stings risk their own positions as well. Again, you don’t want to create a fear-based culture, but you want to make it clear that a failed sting could result in termination or another serious consequence. When all employees take this risk seriously, they are more likely to support one another in compliance efforts.


Make Compliance a Part of the Overall Culture


Your compliance efforts should fit seamlessly within your broader culture. This helps employees connect their compliance actions to their other behaviors. For example, in a family restaurant, servers will already be aware of a certain expectation of how customers should act. Because of this, they would not tolerate bombastic or openly drunk customers, and their compliance efforts will help to enforce that standard. Of course, in a sports bar, more noise is to be expected. There, bartenders and servers are trained to keep an eye on the number of beers served to each person and can use that keen eye and sense of control to ensure compliance with company carding policy (e.g., ID under 35).


If you have questions about how to successfully build a culture of compliance, we would love to hear from you. As part of the BARS Program, clients learn how to successfully implement compliance efforts and build them into their business’s culture. Contact us at 1-877-540-5500 or to learn more.

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