Think about what corporate compliance was like 25 years ago. Adherence to business and financial regulations and guidelines was a primary concern, but formal compliance with IT, diversity, and anti-harassment best practices and recommendations barely existed. After all, email was in infant stages of being a work tool, sexual harassment policies may not have been fully developed, and Wi-Fi would have sounded like a feature for your CD player.
Fast forward a quarter century, and corporate compliance has evolved along with the technology to support it. Similarly, compliance training has transformed to incorporate all the changes the business world has experienced.
Moreover, training’s future is far from static. Aside from keeping up with the constant regulatory changes and industry trends, compliance training is adapting to the modern employee who is increasingly remote, craves more engagement and purpose, and doesn’t want to waste time on things unrelated to their roles.
In many ways, the future of compliance training has already arrived and will continue to evolve through the next decade. Here is a closer look at what’s in store.
Adaptive Learning Will Become More Adaptive
Not too long ago, personalization was a major development in compliance training; courses could be tailored to different roles and provide more focused learning to each individual user. This branching was a good start to delivering a better training experience—and undoubtedly, you want the right training delivered to the right roles—but it lacks an adaptive element that adjusts in real time to the user’s interaction with the course. Make no mistake: Personalized is not necessarily adaptive, and today’s compliance training demands require the latter to maximize effectiveness.
The future of adaptive training promises a more impressively customized experience—including the sequence of a course —based on everything the learner does during his or her time within a module. The best modern compliance training platforms are at the forefront of this innovation, engaging employees from the moment they log into the program.
Data Will Get More Dynamic
Basic training data such as completion rates offers little, if anything, to drive compliance strategy and provide insight into what employees truly know or don’t know. As the regulatory landscape in a variety of compliance areas becomes more and more complex, simply guessing at how well training was internalized is too big a risk. Today’s advanced compliance needs require advanced analytics—and organizations are beginning to discover the power of great data.
When applied and analyzed correctly, training data is:
- Descriptive, answering what is happening
- Diagnostic, answering why it is happening
- Predictive, answering what’s likely to happen
- Prescriptive, suggesting what should be done
In other words, the data of the future will identify problem areas, show why the problems exist, and point the way toward solving those problems. By combining the adaptive focus on individual users with the potential of metrics, businesses can take the efficacy of their compliance training to the next level and beyond.
A Compliance Ecosystem
Quality compliance training provides a solid foundation, but when it’s given just once a year, the foundation—employees’ knowledge and practical application of the concepts they learned—can crumble a little. More frequent training obviously can address this, but a complete ecosystem offers variety, review, and even a bit of enthusiasm for employees who may be more apt to forget the key concepts they absolutely shouldn’t be forgetting.
Components of a compliance training ecosystem can include but aren’t limited to:
- Microlearning: Short training modules are delivered to employees, usually via email. These modules may include short videos, new concepts, a few quiz questions, and more. Learning occurs in small chunks—perfect for busy employees who might not have time to read a lengthy update.
- Job aids: Compliance resources such as infographics, flow charts, checklists, and leadership talk tracks offer not only additional information for rank-and-file employees not as well versed in compliance, but also something they can consult to confirm they are making the right compliance decisions when a situation arises. Great job aids are easy to reference and understand while helping ingrain compliance into company culture.
- Videos: Short, professionally produced videos highlighting compliance concepts can make a long-lasting impact with employees. Because the videos are usually shorter than a few minutes, they can be watched repeatedly, as needed. And these clips are more than just someone talking monotone into the camera—they are carefully scripted, often funny, and memorable.
Effective training builds a sort of muscle memory with employees who learn the right thing to do in a compliance situation. A compliance ecosystem keeps that muscle memory strong until the next training session—possibly all year long.
AI Compliance Training
Artificial intelligence in the business world has been gradually picking up steam, and the next decade promises a greater trend of AI taking over functions and decisions once handled by people. This holds great potential for businesses, including in how they conduct compliance training. Here are two examples of the exciting capabilities AI will bring to training:
- AI can identify the lowest areas of performance for an individual learner and automatically trigger “booster shot” training—a short course that retrains the user on areas they struggled with. For example, an employee taking a course on appropriate electronic communication who scored poorly on safeguarding confidential information and reputation protection would be presented additional scenarios in both categories.
- AI can look at a learner’s result from the previous training, determine which topics he or she was perfect or high-performing, present a summary of the content they comprehend, and then push the user into new content.
Whatever the future of compliance training holds, organizations shouldn’t feel like they have to tackle it alone. Partner with a training vendor that is setting the trends instead of catching up to them, and you can be confident that you’ll be ready for whatever the compliance world throws at you next year, in five years, and beyond.