Supercharge Compliance Training with a Super Approach
Too many organizations approach compliance training with the attitude of “We’re deploying this training to employees because regulations require us to; it’s up to them to make the right choices.” Many of these companies then don’t understand why, for example, they get a 99 percent completion rate on sexual harassment training, but still receive dozens or even hundreds of complaints a year. Or they think they are teaching employees smart digital best practices, only to be burned when someone opens a suspicious email. A new approach to compliance training is necessary—one that empowers people to prioritize learning and provides activities, via a more strategic ecosystem, to reinforce that learning.
Build Training Focused on Learning … Not Training
Compliance training should transcend employees just being exposed to something they need to know. The best programs deliver a learning experience that makes a person’s comprehension, skills, and decisions automatic.
Strengthen Muscle Memory
Great training can develop neural pathways—aka muscle memory. Although the term is most often associated with athletes learning a physical skill, a mountain of evidence shows that muscle memory also applies to compliance. A potentially damaging situation presents itself to an employee, who responds with the correct action without thinking twice. The lessons learned in compliance training kick in, and a violation is avoided.
Traditional compliance training often falls short of this muscle memory because it presents facts and rules the user is expected to learn, but doesn’t provide a compelling means to facilitate that learning. If you train employees using “active training” techniques, where they are placed in virtual scenarios and asked to make judgment calls along the way, you spark significantly higher brain activity and learning. This type of training can be gamified or simpler, but the idea is the same. We learn by doing, not simply by watching or reading. Adding real judgment exercises to training makes it stick beyond the course and localizes the situations to the user.
Go Interactive with Adaptive Training
Adaptive training offers an interactive experience that not only builds the aforementioned muscle memory by engaging the employee in meaningful, uniquely applicable learning, but also adapts and evolves to the needs and responses of the user.
If, for example, someone is struggling with certain compliance concepts during the online training, the adaptive mechanism adjusts the course to present those concepts a different way, or maybe follows up with additional questions featuring real-world scenarios the user can relate to. Alternately, if someone is breezing through the course, adaptive training might respond with tougher questions or advanced concepts. Employees who learn with this adaptive approach don’t come away wondering what their training taught them; they act with confidence and without hesitation.
Build a Program That Is Volcanic with Data
Training presents perhaps the most underused data-gathering opportunity in most organizations today. Think about it: A firm-wide technology is deployed that every employee interacts with … but the only data you are getting is whether or not employees completed the course—that’s a big missed opportunity. Deploying a training program that extracts reams of advanced analytics and gives you insight into behavior trends is the future of training. A proactive, analytical approach to compliance offers numerous benefits, including:
- Measuring immediate effectiveness: Compliance officers who come away from training often think, “I hope that went well.” With analytics, you can quickly determine how well it went and decide next steps (as part of a greater compliance training ecosystem—more on this soon) for both successful and struggling users—if the course hasn’t done that already.
- Predicting weak spots: Hindsight data, which we’ve already alluded to, identifies compliance weaknesses only after something bad has happened and the training was instituted as a countermeasure. Proactive data better ascertains who might struggle so you can shore up their training with follow-up training and more focused content. Instead of using hindsight data to determine who was putting you most at risk, gather and maximize proactive data to predict who might present that risk in the future.
- Building long-term strategy: All the data gained from every training session gives you insight into the process. How long users spent in a course, how they answered quiz questions, how they interacted with more experiential parts of the training, how they rated the training afterward—this accumulated data, easily compiled from the best software solutions, can drive future steps, whether those steps are taken next week, next year, or next decade. Moreover, analyzing this data over time offers better predictive capabilities on how a new strategy might or might not work, as well as benchmarks in relation to other companies both inside and outside their industry.
Think of your Compliance Program an Ecosystem
Analytics and muscle memory are incredible results of adaptive, data-driven compliance training, but ultimately, how employees engage in, absorb, and benefit from the program matters most in gauging effectiveness. People who are presented with real-world compliance situations, applicable to their everyday responsibilities, during training are more likely to take ownership of their learning.
That said, don’t limit the learning to just the formal courses on their own. Such training is powerful, but its impact multiplies when combined with other strategies. Develop and implement a greater training ecosystem that employs additional channels that supplement, complement, and maximize each other—as well as strengthen your data. Some parts of your ecosystem may include:
- Micro learning: Standard online compliance training courses may include quizzes, slides, and concepts of varying length. Micro learning incorporates these tools in a shorter, quicker, but just as impactful format. Employees are sent interactive content, such as a brief video and/or few relevant follow-up quiz questions, that introduce or reinforce concepts—often determined by the individual and company data learned from the previous training courses and micro learning.
- Entertaining video: Explainer videos can present a concept quickly and with a visual element, but for a lasting impact, humorous shorts performed by real actors deliver a great teaching experience that people remember. RealBiz Shorts (a strategic partner of True Office Learning) is an expert in this kind of training, combining important concepts with an improv philosophy that provides learning and laughs.
- Digital toolkits: After online training ends, even if it was wildly effective (again, data can point the way on results), employees may still need to fall back on other resources to confirm their compliance instincts. Digital toolkits (such as those offered by Broadcat, another True Office strategic partner) operationalize compliance so that people have the information they need, when they need it, in their day-to-day jobs. Elements of the toolkits can include infographics, flow charts, checklists, and more—everything someone needs to make the right decision.