A survey by Veritas Technologies has found the risk of losing benefits – including bonuses – for failure to comply with GDPR policies is a real possibility for employees at one in four organisations worldwide according to a study. The study has concluded that compliance with the GDPR has the potential to drive major cultural changes in businesses worldwide. Nearly three in four respondents to their survey plan to incentivise employees to improve data hygiene and take accountability for data compliance.
The Veritas 2017 GDPR Report also found 88 per cent of organisations around the world plan to drive employee GDPR behavioural changes through training, rewards, penalties and contracts. Almost half (47 per cent) of businesses will go so far as to add mandatory GDPR policy adherences into employment agreements.
Failure to adhere to contractual guidelines could have significant implications. Nearly half (41 per cent) of respondents also plan to implement employee disciplinary procedures if GDPR policies are violated. A quarter of businesses (25 per cent) would consider withholding benefits—including bonuses—from employees found to be non-compliant. At the same time, 34 per cent say they will reward employees for complying with GDPR policies, as those employees are helping to promote proper data governance within their organisations, which can lead to better business outcomes.
The report found that the vast majority of respondents (91 per cent) admit that their organisation does not currently hold a culture of good data governance or GDPR compliance. However, as indicated above, companies understand that training is critical to driving cultural changes within their organisations.
The majority (63 per cent) of companies believe all employees must receive mandatory training on GDPR policies. However, respondents were also quick to identify the types of employees that should be trained: 86 per cent believe the IT department must be prioritised, closely followed by business direction and strategy employees (85 per cent), business development/sales/channel employees (84 per cent), legal employees (82 per cent) and finance employees (82 per cent).
“Data is one of the most critical assets within an organisation, yet many businesses are struggling to implement good data hygiene practices—and that often starts with employees,” said Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer, Veritas. “However, our research shows that businesses are getting serious about driving cultural change within their organisations.
“As businesses consider deploying new processes and policies including training, rewards and updated contracts in support of GDPR compliance, more employees will understand the role they play in protecting their organisation’s data. And, for employees that fail to take matters seriously, their bonuses and benefits may be negatively impacted,” he concluded.