As a leader in HR or risk management, compliance training might be your most dreaded task. It is a very important area of training for all employees, but the question is, how do you make it work?
As learning theories change and as technology makes a greater impact, organizations can incorporate new learning solutions to help improve compliance training.
How good is compliance training?
Most people who have had some kind of job in a corporation or in any business of some kind have probably been through compliance training. Most often than not, the sound of compliance or ethics will elicit lots of groaning. That is because, in most cases, compliance training is not relevant or communicated in an adaptive or active manner.
A survey from 2011 found that companies spent millions of dollars on investigations, analyses, and other risk management procedures and about $200,000 on training. These costs do not even include the amount of productivity lost. With better programs, they might have been able to save both time and money.
The effort of compliance training for many companies is due to governmental oversight, but it should also be to help save companies money and time from having to engage in so many risk management procedures. Although that is rarely the case.
In most companies, compliance training is seen as a way to help management and the company protect itself from litigation. It feels like it has little to do with employees and their jobs.
Some of the best learning solutions for compliance are good practices for any training program. They can be especially useful for compliance as that topic can be dull, dry, and often does not have a lot of flexibility in content.
Find a training method
In order to create an effecting compliance training program, leaders need to decide how they will communicate information.
Many companies have turned to online learning but often times the best compliance training uses blended learning. Hearing from the CEO of a company about why compliance is important can be more powerful than a variety of online materials.
Have a point person
When creating a compliance training program, one person should know everything about the program, including what the training options are and who manages them.
Find the right time
While some compliance training topic areas must be given at certain times when leaders have control of timing, they should take certain factors into consideration: repetition, frequency, and duration.
Employees can learn information repeatedly over the course of many weeks, in shorter segments to help them learn better.
Leaders need to assess learners so that they can learn based on their own knowledge base and experience level. Also, not all learners will need to learn all of the content.
Assessments can help leaders determine who need to take what training, making learning more personalized. Through adaptive learning systems, companies can create personalized learning through assessment.
Leaders should prioritize training sessions so that different departments are trained first on the risks that impact them the most.
Create a system of separations so that employees are with others that will help them learn best. This system can be based on department, learning style, location, generation, or other categories depending on the organization.
Whatever the separation criteria are, they should be used to enhance employee learning.
Stories are a great way to engage learners and turn something boring or dull into something interesting. Stories with the most impact are relevant, detailed, engrossing, and emotional.
Learners will pay attention to stories that relate to them with details, humor, intrigue, and emotion.
Add some fun
Many employees may not care about ethics and compliance, but from a business standpoint it is essential. Leaders can make it more interesting by adding fun to the process.
Challenges and rewards are a great way to motivate people and keep them interested. Also, the games can be relevant to each department, so employees are only learning things that are relevant to them.
Branching scenarios can be a great way to add real world scenarios into the learning structure. Like a “choose your own adventure”, these scenarios give learners choices so they can learn the consequences of compliance issues.
Compliance can be a heavy and boring topic to many people. In order to keep employees interested, leaders need to chunk content so that there is not too much information at one time.
Some companies use microlearning so that employees can get the basics of compliance topics in short intervals over time.
Leaders should have some sort of system, digital or not, to keep track of all training sessions, all employees who attended training sessions, and scores on end of training tests.
These can be especially important for compliance as some government agencies or accreditation programs require certain types of compliance training.
Using goals, measurement tools, and data analysis leaders should know how effective their compliance training program is so that it can be changed to better fit the needs of employees.
Creating a culture of compliance
While the solutions listed above can make compliance training become a valued and important aspect of an organization’s training program, there is one thing that can bring everything together. It is essential that companies have a culture of ethics or the training will be useless.
When companies have a culture that values all employees, through respect and ethical behavior, then compliance training will have a greater impact on all employees.
When employees see that the business runs in an ethical manner they will be more likely to relate to the material and behave in similar manners. Compliance is not just a training initiative, it is a cultural issue.
When looking at compliance, a culture of learning is just as important as a culture of ethics. When using learning solutions to help with compliance, companies will be on their way to creating a culture of learning.
In combination with a culture of ethics, companies will not only be better equipped to deal with learning challenges, but they will also decrease the amount of time, effort, and resources needed to manage compliance and risk issues.