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Compliance: What it is and what it means for our work

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Compliance is more than rules

However, compliance is not just an abstract term, it has very concrete implications for company codes of conduct and employee rules, and it applies to the junior assistant as well as to the management. The compliance policy not only includes legal requirements that must be adhered to, but is also based on guidelines and values that the company has defined and imposed on itself. Nowadays, compliance is no longer just an option, it has become a duty, because ultimately it is about what happens when employees do not adhere to the company’s general and specific rules and regulations.

Why is compliance important?

With the appropriate regulations, which the company has set up, rule violations can be prevented. Rule violations which have already occurred can be identified quickly and the enterprise can communicate these and react accordingly. It can warn the employee concerned, reprimand them or even terminate them in serious cases.

An example of compliance

Every employee has experienced this or a similar situation: A customer would like to thank them with a gift for their excellent work or good support. But the employee should think twice about whether they accept the gift, large or small, as it could have serious consequences for them personally. When is it really just a little gift, when does it violate the rules that the company has imposed itself, and when does the employee make themself punishable? That's exactly why there are compliance rules, because it avoids a lack of clarity. Everyone knows how to behave in every situation.

Clear compliance rules

What rules must a company take into account when dealing with the issue of compliance? It should, for certain, make a list that includes all the relevant points:

  • What happens to invitations and presents?
  • Is there any advantage over competitors in any way? What happens if there is?
  • Are the same rules of conduct for all employees?
  • How is compliance monitored and by whom?
  • What happens if the compliance rules are violated?

Compliance violations

Of course, the rules must apply to everyone. For breaches that not only affect the company itself but also have criminal implications, openness is the top priority. However, in the worst case this can lead to fines or even imprisonment.

Every employee in the company should heed the following:

  • A compliance violation is a violation and can be tracked.
  • Everyone must adhere strictly to the compliance rules.
  • Compliance violations can result in damage that is not covered by insurance.
  • Important documents and data must be visible at all times to ensure complete transparency.


Compliance is more than an abstract set of rules. It is part of everyday life in the workplace and demands social and moral competence from every employee. If everyone is honest and straightforward, then you are more than halfway there and compliance will be actively practiced in the company.

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