GDPR - have you had "the talk" yet?

April 9, 2018 - 3 minute read

Ahh, the GDPR. On one hand, the mere mention of those four letters still sends fear throughout the industry. But on the other hand... we’re kind of fatigued with information overload. After four long years of preparation, the most important change in data legislation is now in the final stages of being put into place. And if your organisation hasn’t already declared itself as “GDPR compliant”, chances are you’re on the home stretch to getting there.

This doesn’t mean we’re all kicking back and waiting for the change to roll in - the general feeling of uncertainty is still there. And it’s understandably fearful when we’re being threatened with big, scary fines of €20 million or so. But the reality is that the GDPR isn’t something that should be feared - as long as you have all your ducks in a row. 

(And everyone else in your organisation does, as well) 

“But what more can I do?!” I hear you nervously reply.

“The data audit is done and dusted, my crisis management strategies are flawless and I practically scream ‘GDPR is coming’ at every employee as they walk through the door”. 

It’s time to get together and talk it out.

The secret to guaranteeing you’re completely ready for the 25th May is simple - collaborate with your peers. For example, here Speakap we have been working tirelessly over the past year to ensure we’re as data compliant as a golden retriever. But because of the fact that we have very low levels of data to be processed, one of the most important steps for us hasn’t been internally focused; it has been regularly collaborating with our clients and partners to communicate what changes we have made and understand what changes they have made. The purpose of this has been to help each other out, by ensuring that everyone we work with is ready to go. 

While you might not see your department as the driving force behind the GDPR compliance status of your company, it should be everyone’s responsibility to know what changes have been made that impact their department - and vice versa. And by initiating these conversations with your colleagues, you might actually come across a few considerations that were completely missed. 

What we suggest is to set some time up to chat with your correspondents from different departments, so you have a sense of what their action plans are in the next month regarding the GDPR. Although these conversations should naturally be fairly informal, it’s handy to have a listed of prepared questions - relevant to their job function - to guide the conversation.

For example;

  • What is your protocol for when a data leakage occurs?
  • In what location is the data of employees stored?
  • Is it really necessary to know an employee's first pet name?

And ask your colleagues to do the same for you. It may seem tedious to have the same conversations over and over again, but communication is key when it comes to understanding how the GDPR will change business practices. 

We're all going to be okay

Ultimately it’s important to remember that these changes are new (and sometimes scary) for everyone. However, if we all help each other out by checking in on what changes our business partners and peers have made - heck, why not even ask your Grandma what she’s doing! - we’re all going to be okay. 

Just like one big, data-compliant happy family. 

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Louise Blair

Written by Louise Blair

All the way from "down under" Louise has joined Speakap to help businesses to build better relationships with their workforce. When she's not busy producing the Frontline podcast, you might catch her running... while listening to a podcast.