It’s that time of year when the sun begins to shine longer, and the summer begins to beckon with thoughts of ice cream and laughter.  As windows re-open to let in the light and breeze, many people clean up their house from months of dark and dust. This ritual clearing is frequently known as “spring cleaning.”  It’s the process of washing away the old and renewing and brightening that which remains.

 Spring cleaning can be applied to your program, just as it can your home.  It’s easy to get into a rut.  Sometimes we don’t even see the dirt anymore – we just get used to it. 

 To spruce up your program, start by asking yourself these questions:

 1.      If I could start over, what would I do differently?

Pretend you’re beginning again, but with the knowledge you have now.  Would you entirely revamp your communications plan?  Would you re-brand your whistle-blower hotline more effectively?  Would you implement short-burst training intended specifically to address adult learning?  By mentally giving yourself an entirely clean slate, you’ll see where the program can most benefit from change. 

 2.      What good idea have I not yet initiated?

Did you go to a conference last year and hear a great idea that you just haven’t implemented yet?  Have you read or pulled out an article in this magazine that you’ve intended to use, but haven’t?  Did you hear from a friend about a terrific structure for a compliance and ethics ambassador program, but haven’t found the time to create one yourself?  Take out those ideas you’ve been meaning to use.  Write down at least three, then choose one and commit to employing it. Make a timeline for it and choose your milestones.  Before you know it, your program will improve.

 3.      What complaint do I get most often?

 Do people complain about the cumbersome third-party due diligence process?  Do they say the policies are unreadable?  Or that policies are hard to find on the intranet?  Think about the complaints that you get most often, then choose one to tackle head-on.  If you can’t think of a complaint, seek feedback from employees.  Once they trust that you really want to know, you’ll find out what they really think, and can then address it.

 4.      What would I do if money were no object?

If you had an unlimited budget for your program, what would you do?  Would you invest in world-class, bespoke micro-learning training? Would you hire an improv team to work with your salespeople at their annual meeting to teach them how to respond to high-pressure ethical situations?  Would you hire a graphic artist to re-brand your Code of Conduct and program’s marketing materials?  Your answer to this question can help you to identify the areas of your program that need the most time and attention. 

Think creatively about how you could incorporate some of your high-flying ideas now.  Call your e-learning vendor and offer to be the pilot for a new micro-learning option.  Seek out the local drama club to see if they can help you develop some fun theatrical exercises that you could use with the sales team.  Ask the intern in the marketing department if he or she can help with graphic design.  Think about ways you can bring your great ideas into your program.

 Spring cleaning brings the opportunity to welcome back the light.  By shining this light on your program, you can be much more effective in your role.