Is your compliance training program simply satisfactory? In today’s high-stakes business environment, satisfactory isn’t enough.
Although risk can’t be eliminated, quality training increases the odds that employees will know the rules and act correctly in compliance situations. Successful training not only meets regulatory requirements and guidance, but also creates “muscle memory” that counters noncompliance.
Moving from satisfactory to successful doesn’t require a monster effort, but rather, simply rethinking how you approach compliance training. These nine tips can help:
1. Don’t bore employees
A reason some employees resist or even dread compliance training is that, quite simply, it feels like a waste of time and cuts into their busy schedules. As a result, they are more likely to whiz through the course, indiscriminately clicking just to get it over with. Counter boredom by providing engaging, even inspiring content that immerses users in the compliance experience. Instead of “enduring” the training, employees look forward to experiencing and benefiting from courses that are specific, are relevant, and directly impact their day-to-day roles.
2. Challenge employees
Along the same lines, compliance training that’s too easy for employees won’t be taken seriously and won’t yield any learning value. Challenge employees to think through tricky scenarios, and never assume something is too advanced. Introduced concepts can be reinforced later with additional training and supported with job aids.
3. Avoid the ‘check the box’ mentality
Don’t treat compliance training as something you “have to do,” and don’t assume that the bare minimum will suffice. If training isn’t a priority for the organization, it won’t be a priority for employees, which, again, can cause them to blow it off or not engage. Recognize training as an opportunity rather than a requirement, and emphasize its importance to protecting the company and the bottom line.
4. Don’t ‘set it and forget it’
Compliance training may be an annual endeavor for many companies, but compliance learning shouldn’t be limited to one week a year for the entire organization. “Set it and forget it” is as minimal as checking the box, not only because you fail to build upon the training but also because by the time you get back to thinking about training, in a crunch, you might simply stick with last year’s courses. Be proactive with following up with employees after training, providing learning opportunities all year long (more on the value of a compliance ecosystem later in this article), and planning next year’s training well in advance.
5. Continually update
Compliance best practices change, regulatory requirements and guidelines evolve, and new threats emerge. Is your compliance training keeping up? Continually refreshing training ensures employees are learning the latest things they should know, and it reduces the risk they’ll get bored with the same training content year after year.
6. Get the right training to the right employees
Not every employee will gain something from every element of a training course that’s too broad in scope. Role-based training tailored to teams and departments focuses learning toward practical compliance concepts people use on the job. Adaptive learning takes this fluid idea a step further by adjusting the training in real time depending on the way the employee is progressing through the course and interacting with scenarios.
7. Expand your strategy
Learning shouldn’t stop once employees complete their annual compliance training. Build upon the base instruction with follow-up resources such as:
With a compliance ecosystem, you can keep compliance principles somewhat top of mind so that employees are less likely to forget what they’ve learned during the subsequent months. Moreover, these follow-up resources are great for introducing new concepts that weren’t covered in training or that become immediately vital. Eventually, the ecosystem practically runs itself, and a culture of compliance takes hold.
8. Learn from the data
Compliance training delivers more than, well, training—it produces rich data that organizations can use to strengthen their compliance profiles. Comprehensive analytics identify weak areas of learning, show which departments and offices are succeeding or struggling, and even predict where compliance problems are likely to emerge and fester.
9. Partner with an expert
The first nine tips are great for organizations that want to bolster their compliance training, but many don’t know where to begin to fully realize their goals. This is where an outstanding training partner not only fills the gaps, but also takes your program to the next level. The best vendors:
- Deliver engaging, relevant content that teaches key concepts and challenges users to deeply consider how to respond to a compliance situation
- Provide updates as necessary and let compliance programs customize content to unique requirements
- Produce robust data at the organizational level and offer comprehensive metrics that individual programs can compare their results against
- Offer additional resources, such as microlearning and gamification, that can reinforce compliance concepts at any time
- Bring years of compliance training industry experience and innovation to every client
A top-notch compliance training expert gives organizations the edge they need to optimize training and minimize risk. With a great partner, compliance professionals stop worrying whether training will be effective and, instead, consider additional ways to strengthen their employees’ knowledge.