GDPR – oh how that acronym resonates with us all I am sure, though it does have many positive attributes for businesses asides its actual fundamental purpose. Here are five key ways that the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation can be good for employers.
If, like many UK companies, you spent a considerable amount of time earlier this year preparing for GDPR, you may be struggling to see any real benefits from the new requirements.
However, now that the new legislation is in place, it’s time to sit back and review whether the longer-term benefits will make the recent months of activity worthwhile.
We should now only receive communications from companies that we are interested in remaining in contact with and whose products are of relevance.
The benefits of this reduction in distractions hitting your staff’s inboxes could be substantial, as research has shown that these types of minor interruptions can have a significant impact on concentration levels.
Studies have found that it can take upwards of 20 minutes to regain your former levels of concentration after this type of distraction. An experiment conducted by the University of London also found that we can lose in the region of 10 IQ points when our concentration is interrupted in this way. Therefore, any reduction in emails is likely to have a positive effect on staff concentration and performance.
Spring clean your data
Rather like a good spring clean, the regulations have forced companies to review and refresh their data. By ensuring it’s accurate and up to date, you’ll avoid wasting time and will be more targeted in your marketing, focusing on customers who are actively interested in engaging with you.
Improved customer care culture
Customers will view companies that actively embrace the drive to protect personal privacy positively. Organisations with more flair and ingenuity may see the obligatory privacy notice as a way of making a public declaration to their customers. This is your chance to stand out and engage customers with your company’s culture.
With around 50 per cent of security breaches being caused by careless employees, the reputational risks are significant, as are the potential fines. Therefore, it’s important to make sure staff take responsibility for data security and the part that they play. While disciplinary codes may be tightened up to make individuals more accountable, forward-thinking organisations will positively engage with staff, reinforcing a culture of genuine customer care and respect.
Transparency – it’s all clear now
GDPR requires companies to be transparent in relation to how and why they are processing customer data.
The positive is that this transparency should lead to improved, trusting relationships between companies and their customers. Companies that promote transparency may see a positive impact on performance linked to improved consumer confidence.
The cost of all the junk email circulating the system goes beyond the issues of lost time and productivity.
According to the Guardian, the energy costs created by spam email accounts for 33bn units of electricity each year, creating a carbon footprint of around 135kg for a typical business user -that’s the equivalent of driving around 200 miles in an average car.
For any company which claims to consider environmental issues, these are important facts. It’s worth making sure your company website reflects any steps taken to reduce unwanted correspondence to support your green credentials.
What does the future hold?
Given that the Institute of Directors stated earlier this year that 30 per cent of company directors hadn’t heard of GDPR, the chances are that many organisations are yet to fully embrace the regulations. Therefore, it may be some time before we see evidence of robust enforcement by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Going forward, we can expect to see some high-profile cases where breaches have occurred. However, by focusing on the positives, astute companies can reap the benefits and maximise the opportunities that the new regulations present.
Ref: People Management, Sue Andrews KIS Finance July 2018