We’ve all heard the phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle.”  What’s good for the Earth can also work well for your professional life as a compliance officer.  After all, you’re expected to produce a tremendous amount of material throughout the year.  From policies to procedures, training videos to emails, you’re expected to consistently create content. 

Instead of constantly running on the hamster wheel at full pace each day, try bringing the concept of recycling into your job.  How do you do that?  Start with the “Rule of Three.”

The Rule of Three

The Godfather of Compliance, Joe Murphy, created the rule of three.  It means that he aims to use each piece of content he creates in at least three ways.  If he’s created a blog post, he’ll use the topic for a podcast, and to post to LinkedIn.  He makes sure that the work is used in multiple ways.

You can use the rule of threes in your job.  Let’s say you created a really clever gifts and hospitality email for the holiday season.  Instead of simply mailing it out and deleting it, you could:

Won’t it Bore Them?

You may be concerned that recycling material will bore people, or that they’ll tune it out after seeing it the first time.  They won’t for several reasons.  First, it may shock you to learn that people don’t always read or internalize messaging or training from compliance.  Sending the message in multiple formats increases the odds that people will perceive and incorporate the material into their daily work lives. 

Second, people learn through repetition.  If you have children, you’ll notice that teachers don’t say, “3+3 = 6,” and then never go through that again because they assume the children understand how to do the math.  Instead, the lesson is gone over multiple times until it’s second nature for the children to do the math in their head.  Just because we’ve said something once doesn’t mean it’s thoroughly understood.  When employees receive the messages in multiple ways over time, it reinforces it without it feeling stale. 

Lastly, people learn in various ways.  Some people respond well to video, where others may enjoy reading text.  Some people like the infographic style and others will be more affected by short-burst training.  By sending the message through multiple mediums, you are more likely to hit upon a style that matches the learning preferences of people in your organization. 

Freeing Up Time

The best thing about recycling content is that it frees up time for you to create your best work for your next piece of content.  If you’re constantly churning out new material, at some point, the content you create will be muddied or less effective than it could be if you revised it and honed it into something you could truly be proud of.  This is a “less is more” situation.  Great content should be seen over and over again.  Reducing the volume of materials you create now gives you space to create more great material for the future.

In taking care of the Earth and in your job, reduce, reuse, and recycle.  The planet, your sanity, and your boss will thank you for it.