The question asks for a simple yes/no answer: “In situations of potential harassment, does the intent behind the behavior matter?”
The correct answer to this question, which appears in a True Office Learning module, is no. Of the millions of users who’ve answered it, only 64 percent got it right, meaning more than a third of employees incorrectly think harassment might be OK depending on the circumstance.
This unnerving result shows that employees may know less than you think on some compliance topics—things that ideally can be taught via training. In a True Office Learning course, we would follow up with more scenarios and learning so users would fully understand the reasoning behind the correct answer. In an organization with traditional compliance training, that deeper dive might not exist, potentially exposing the company to more risk.
Simply having compliance training isn’t enough for today’s modern business. The five training mistakes highlighted in this article aren’t fatal flaws, but they do set up training programs for ineffective results—as well as bigger problems if an employee breaks the rules and the organization suffers costly litigation, regulatory consequences, and reputational damage.
Fortunately, each of these mistakes have relatively easy solutions that deliver powerful advantages to your compliance program.
Mistake #1: The same training for everyone
Companies often don’t vary their training much or tailor it to different groups of employees. Everyone receives the same training, thus resulting in a workforce with a little bit of compliance knowledge that wastes time on subjects and training that don’t immediately apply to their jobs.
The solution: Role-based learning or Branching
Getting the right training to the right people so they learn the right compliance concepts is at the heart of role-based learning. The criteria for creating a role-based audience can be set beforehand so that users automatically receive the training appropriate to their geographies, positions and responsibilities. Outstanding compliance training solutions can facilitate this role-based approach to optimize learning and hold employees’ interest throughout the courses they take.
Mistake #2: The training is too ‘technical’
Compliance training that focuses more on legal terms and definitions can go over users’ heads without ever being internalized. Courses that feel like lectures and fail to focus on behavior are easily forgotten or ignored.
The solution: Scenario-based learning
Placing employees in relevant, relatable situations challenges them to understand how compliance directly affects them, their roles, and their everyday decisions. Immersive scenarios require people to think through and internalize their choices rather than attempt to memorize a bunch of rules quickly thrown at them.
Mistake #3: Static training
No matter how an employee interacts with a traditional training course, the path to completion doesn’t deviate—and the course might move on before the user truly understands a concept being taught. Employees may come away having been exposed to plenty of ideas but learning nothing.
The solution: Adaptive training
Great compliance training software adjusts in real time to how the individual employee is progressing through the course. If the user needs extra learning for a specific concept, adaptive training identifies that need and delivers additional time and scenarios on the topic the person is struggling with.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the data
Companies might not use the metrics and analytics that emerge from compliance training to inform immediate and future strategy. Or they rely solely on completion data——which tells nothing about engagement, strength of learning, or trouble spots. Maybe add something here about quiz data, which also doesn’t give true insight into behaviors.
The solution: Embrace analytics
Quality training produces a wealth of quality data. You can use this data to identify compliance strengths and weaknesses, which can be subsequently addressed with additional training resources (more on this later) and predict future areas of concern. Furthermore, the analytics can shape other elements of your overall compliance program, such as awareness strategies, monitoring activities, and updating standards, policies, and processes.
Mistake #5: One-and-done compliance training
Organizations offer compliance training but may wait a year until offering it again. Employees who are struggling with certain concepts won’t get the help they need, and will subsequently become a greater risk. Even people who do well on the training can benefit from a refresher.
The solution: A compliance ecosystem
An array of compliance resources can deliver continual learning to employees who need additional help, will benefit from reinforcement, or are ready for new concepts. Elements of this ecosystem can include:
- Microlearning: Employees receive short training courses (maybe just a few questions/scenarios) in their inboxes to consume at their convenience.
- Job aids: Additional resources operationalize compliance by providing information employees can reference at a moment’s notice when a compliance situation arises.
- Entertaining videos: Professionally produced, amusingly written and performed videos intelligently teach compliance concepts in an appealing, effective way.
- Gamification: Designed with the learner in mind, gamified diagnostics rapidly test employees’ knowledge, identify gaps, and analyze performance—all within a few minutes.
In a compliance ecosystem, users are always learning and always have compliance concepts and smart choices top of mind. Mistakes are minimized, risk is reduced, and the entire organization benefits.