How seriously does your organization take compliance? You will find the answer to that question by looking at your compliance training. Does your compliance training do more than check a box? If not, your organization must consider improving or even overhauling its compliance training.
So where do you start? At the top. Managers and team leaders must be aware of employee conduct and misconduct to foster a culture of compliance. They must also know how to encourage and reinforce ethical standards and behavior. Make this a permanent part of your corporate culture as you build a strong and positive attitude towards compliance practices.
While it may seem like a huge task at hand, we’ve broken down processes you can follow to ensure you’re building your compliance training brand.
• Design Effective Learning
• Build a Communication Strategy
• Measure Learning ROI
It is also your organization’s job to motivate employees by answering the question: why comply? And a simple “because it’s required” is not enough. Understanding why compliance with given policies is important is crucial to taking it seriously.
Design Effective Learning
Take the time to design effective learning. What are the most important goals? Make it relevant to your learners. Engage different types of learners and get the blend right. Doing so will align with and support a corporate compliance culture and increase learning ROI.
Not all learners are created equally. That means if your organization’s learning design favors one form of learning, it will leave other learners behind. When designing your compliance training, keep in mind that people tend to be either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. Ensure that your compliance training design takes into account all styles of learning. Design with intention rather than incorporating insignificant bells and whistles.
Another mistake organizations make is offering passive learning experiences with bullet lists of things not to do. Unfortunately for lovers of passive learning design, the brain typically does not prioritize information it encounters passively. Instead, in this age of information overload, it dismisses it as trivial noise. So when an employee comes upon a critical compliance moment, they are not likely to recall what they learned and equally as unlikely to take action. How do you correct that? By incorporating role-playing exercises and giving learners the chance to process the information through meaningful discussions and applied problem-solving scenarios. These learning approaches offer think-on-your feet moments and emulate real-life experiences.
Build a Communication Strategy
A mistake many organizations make is frontloading their compliance training. In other words, they bombard new hires with everything employees need to know to start their job, including critical compliance information. How effective is this? Barraging people with information and facts is about as effective as asking them to drink from a firehose.
A one-time training is not always enough. Why not? Because, as adult learning theory proves, learners need reinforcement and repetition to retain information. They also need opportunities to practice if they are going to change their behavior. To that end, consider building a training strategy with a training calendar, awareness campaigns, and refreshers. Teach, reinforce, and repeat.
For example, as the holiday season approaches, consider offering a refresher on gifts and entertainment so your employees are clear about the rules and regulations, such as seeking pre-approval before they can attend an event, give a gift, or extend an invitation to an event. The refresher must also reinforce the documentation required and the allowable amount for gifts and events.
Give learners the opportunity in interactive scenarios to experience what happens when they don’t follow compliance rules and regulations. That way they will have a deeper understanding of the consequences of noncompliance in a safe, controlled environment. And they will be much less likely to make compliance mistakes with potentially damaging and costly outcomes.
Measure Learning ROI
How do you measure learning ROI? You must go beyond completion rates. You can reduce the time spent completing courses by deploying training relevant to learners’ roles. And consolidate content by building focused, effective courses that target knowledge retention and behavior change. It will be different for each organizational role. It’s important to deploy content relevant to roles, including employees, supervisors, and manager as well as departmental roles, such as customer service and human resources. The scenarios you build into your learning must reflect your company and industry.
Learning ROI must also measure behavior change. If your training does its job, employees at all levels of the organization should be able to answer the following questions:
1. What specific actions should I take to ensure compliance?
2. Why do these actions matter and improve the workplace?
3. What things should I look out for that will prompt me to take action?
4. What specific steps should I take if I discover misconduct or unethical behavior in the workplace?
When employees know what to look for and how to respond, you’ve successfully built ethical behavior and compliance into your workplace culture.
Building a compliance training brand requires out-of-the-box thinking and employing strategies that go way beyond checking a box. While all organizations view compliance as important, many treat compliance training as an afterthought. If you make compliance training relevant, engage different types of learners, build effective courses that target knowledge retention and behavior change, and plan for reinforcement, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of most companies. And you’ll achieve your goal of minimizing misconduct and unethical behavior in your workplace. Building a strong compliance training brand can be achieved by designing effective learning, building a communication strategy and measuring learning ROI.
For more information contact JBachert@interactiveservices.com
By Jim Bachert (Director, Compliance Learning, Interactive Services)