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Mandatory training that gets results

It’s time to get smarter with your compliance strategy. But what composition does your mandatory training really need to make it work for your learners and your business?

Compliance training is important. It’s a key function in most L&D departments, and for good reason too. Deliver it badly and it could cost your organisation dearly in legal fees down the line. So it’s vital to protect yourself, and nothing ensures high knowledge retention better than high quality training.

So, it’s time to get smarter with your compliance strategy. But what composition does your mandatory training really need to make it work for your learners and your business?

It escapes the “have to” mentality

“My compliance training is mandatory. People have to take it, so I don’t have to worry about the willingness of my learners. I’ll focus my efforts on other programmes instead.”

Sound familiar?

Just because you can deliver compliance like this doesn’t mean you should. It’s time to step out of this mentality and evolve your training to reflect the rest of your training programmes.

Let’s be honest, compliance training matters because it’s often some of the first training your learners are exposed to, and lack of compliance can be extremely costly for your organisation. Especially when it comes to things like equality and diversity training, which can lead to serious risk if you’re employees aren’t fully aware.

Shift your mind set from obligatory to critical, bringing your compliance training front and centre of your training programmes, and watch the attitudes in your learners shift.

It’s personalised and contextual

This is not a new concept, but it’s still something that is often neglected when it comes to compliance. In fact, we discussed the value of it heavily in our article about omnichannel learning. But the point is, most businesses are making their other e-learning modules more sophisticated, more personalised and more relevant to the modern day learner. But what about mandatory learning? The poor, neglected sibling of many training programmes still needs love too.

Go beyond the sheep dip approach and consider how you can tweak training to be more relevant to job responsibilities or individual accountabilities. For example, maybe only certain groups of people in your business need to undertake safeguarding training, so don’t expose everyone to it. This will ensure your learning always lands well with learners and feels appropriate and distinctive.

It’s multi-device

Enough said. It’s 2016 and if you want your learners to connect with any type of training, they need to be able to access it on different devices (and maybe even in different locations too). The rise of Gen Y and Gen Z and shorter attention spans in your workplace means that if you compromise on this, it will be at the peril of your mandatory training.

It’s shorter and more consumable

Deep, heavy training programmes just don’t work for learners these days. Learners often find it hard to focus for more than 20 minutes at a time (Kelly, 2013), and small screen devices are draining our learners of even more focus.It’s shorter and more consumable

Because compliance training is often turgid with facts and legislation, it’s important to provide your learners with breaks. Bite-sized learning can help to drive engagement with learners and also ensures that your content is consumed and digested more thoroughly.

It’s interactive and visually rich

Interactive elements should be a critical aspect of any digital training programme, especially compliance. Whether that’s in the form of rich media including videos or animations is entirely up to you. But if you want to deliver transformative training that captures the hearts and minds of your learners, it needs to get them involved in the process. We need to go way beyond the ‘next’ button if we want to get our learners engaged.

This is about embracing the digital experience our learners have outside of the workplace, and accepting a firm move towards the future of compliance.

Measuring results of mandatory training

All these efforts are important in terms of driving learner engagement, but how do you know whether your training was impactful and actually achieved a desired result? For many reasons, a high volume of businesses are not analysing the success of their training interventions. They’re simply delivered, and often forgotten post-implementation. But reflecting on e-learning after delivery can provide critical insights into your learners’ behaviour, and give you excellent data and action points to feed into future training.

So where do you start?

Here’s a few things you can do to ensure you are able to reflect and analyse on your compliance learning:

  • Benchmark: What does good look like in your organisation? If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s time to dig into your LMS to get some completion rates, or even give your learners a survey of recent learning undertaken. Understanding the DNA of successful training will not only allow you to dissect what made it work (and replicate it in future modules) but it will also allow you to benchmark and manage expectations of what successful training looks like in your business.
  • Set clear goals and objectives: In order to clearly assess whether your training was a success, you absolutely must establish some clear goals for the training, as well as clearly understand the expectations of the learning performance. Whether that’s a return on investment, growth in sales, increased knowledge retention or even something such as improved sentiment amongst learners, it’s important to understand what key stakeholders’ expectations of the learning really is. Then you can do your best to exceed those expectations.
  • Test, test, test: Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to work with our learners. That’s why benchmarking and goal setting will allow you to compare and contrast the successes of training. Much like marketers undertake granular multi-variant testing, so should you take the time to better understand what makes your learners tick.

Undertaking these few tasks within your L&D department will allow you to clearly understand what’s working with your training, and what you can reduce efforts in. This is even more amplified with compliance training, because for the most part everyone in your organisation undertakes it, so you get much clearer results. These results will allow you to not only improve the impact of your training, but will help you to provide substantial business cases for further training, and could even help to expand your training budget.

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