To establish a culture of compliance, training is vital. But compliance learning often falls short, failing to sufficiently engage and motivate employees- leaving your organization at risk of non-compliance. So, the challenge is how to transform your compliance training and make it fit for purpose.
Changing the way we do compliance
Compliance training is unavoidable, but it needs to be relevant and engaging to make it effective. If it fails, there’s every chance people will too. Yet while everyone in an organization needs training to operate compliantly, not everyone needs the same learning delivered in the same way at the same time. In the complex world of modern compliance, your offering needs to be responsive, adaptable, and personalized.
Compliance has to be seen as a continuum which means one-off, episodic training events aren’t enough. The way you deliver your training must confront this fact. You need a sustainable approach, that is flexible and adaptable so that you’re not caught out by changes to rules and regulations and you ensure that your people are always acting compliantly.
10 steps to better compliance
So, how do we tackle this challenge? Here are some steps to give your compliance training the responsiveness and agility it needs for greater impact.
- Make learning continuous: Compliance is not a stable subject: the body of compliance knowledge shifts and morphs as new stipulations take effect. Only programs that are continuous and adaptable can keep pace. Static training based in the classroom can’t respond quickly enough. Instead, you need to put in place a communications strategy to ensure information is easily disseminated where it’s required and to who needs it. By making training available 24/7 you build a culture of compliance, where communities of practice and peer learning create awareness of compliance and promote its relevance.
- Personalization and relevance: Compliance is a general requirement, but it has many facets. Too often compliance training is ignored because people think it doesn’t apply to them. People will only act compliantly if they see its relevance. Personalizing training by placing it in the context of work and individual responsibility promotes the critical notion that performing well means acting compliantly. Information on compliance needs to be couched in terms of job roles and real-life situations. If you personalize learning, you allow for the development of learning paths where you can track when and how learners have accessed it. This provides vital information on a granular level to allow you to audit for compliance across the organization.
- Embrace digital learning: Making compliance efforts continuous, relevant and personal is made far easier if your training assets are digital. Digitization opens up training and information sharing across a variety of devices and improves access. E-learning also allows you to introduce interactive exercises such as quizzes, role play and scenario-based learning to engage learners. Multimedia elements grab learners’ attention, so you present material in a more engaging way. What’s more, digital learning suits the way employees access and consume information and learning for themselves.
- Mobile and remote access: The limitations of classroom-based training events become even more stark when you consider that more and more employees are working remotely – in the home, in different offices, and in different regions and countries. How do you ensure that a diverse and dispersed team acts together compliantly? The answer is to facilitate digital training that is accessible on the go and remotely on mobile and networked devices. That way, any compliance update can be rolled out to all employees immediately no matter where they’re working. People can continue to operate compliantly in the field, away from the main office and not need to be called in and leave their work to sit through a new training module.
- Microlearning: Improving access to learning extends to the way it is delivered and consumed. Breaking training down into small chunks has a number of advantages. Firstly, it allows both the organization and the employee to deliver or access precisely what they need without going through an entire course, saving time and increasing relevance and retention. Next, microlearning assets are quick to digest which allows for learning that is ‘just in time’ delivered at the point of need, within the workflow. Also, microlearning represents an agile way of updating information, ensuring that everyone who needs it has easy access to the most recent iteration. Finally, microlearning allows for and encourages personal responsibility for maintaining compliance. With microlearning, you’ve no excuse for missing training and you can also readily refresh or update your knowledge.
- Using scenarios: Immersive training improves relevance. By using scenarios, you can fix compliance in the world of everyday working practices. Scenarios offer a fail-safe environment in which to explore the consequences of taking (or not taking) action. Learners are faced with making a decision and the subsequent results. This approach is designed to instill behavioral change that makes training more sustainable. Digitized learning offers you the chance to build interactive scenarios using audio and video that simulate real-life situations. They promise greater and longer lasting impact than a list of do’s and don’ts from a training manual.
- Gamification: The effectiveness of introducing games into learning is well-established. The combination of fun and competition motivates learners and improves the retention of information. Compliance may at first sight seem a curious subject for gamification, but rather than trivialize the subject a gamification approach to compliance can improve understanding and empathy as learners are asked to apply their knowledge and navigate real-life issues. Gamification is particularly relevant in areas of compliance that concern social behavior and interaction with colleagues in a work setting. People learn to recognize how their (sometimes unwitting) behavior affects others. A well-designed game will heighten their sense of empathy for others and raise their awareness of the complexity of compliance.
- Designing training for the modern learner: Digitization, mobile connectivity and social media have given us new ways to access information and learn. By digitizing your compliance offering and making it more accessible you recognize this change in learning habits. Employees will respond better to training that acknowledges and mimics the way they approach learning. This is another way of increasing relevance and making compliance more engaging. You can go further too and facilitate collaboration and sharing of information by creating a social learning environment. Employees are encouraged to share their experience of compliance and training becomes more democratic and distributed. This strengthens the fundamental message that compliance involves everyone.
- Nudging: Digitization has advantages for the management of learning. Features such as notifications, recommendations and alerts help keep employees on track whether it concerns an update to information, the need to take a new piece of training, or forms part of your communications strategy to keep everyone in touch with compliance. This nudging along helps sustain the momentum of compliance training providing a gentle but continual reminder to all employees that compliance matters. Nudging is designed to influence mindsets and encourage beneficial behaviors. The system of alerts involved also allows L&D, HR and managers to monitor compliance with requirements at an individual or team level.
- Using an LMS: A Learning Management System (LMS) can both curate your digital content and implement your compliance training program. LMSs come with a variety of functions and features that allow you to coordinate your digital learning strategy. It not only deploys resources, it also provides reporting on how those resources are accessed and used. Its customizable interfaces can be used to promote social learning. It can be accessed by mobile and networked devices making just-in-time microlearning a reality. This system delivers personalized learning by allowing the establishment of individual learning paths. It can be a repository for compliance training records, competencies, and certificates. Personalized dashboards display providing a summary of each employee’s status, history, and future compliance training tasks in real time.
These steps are designed to make compliance learning more engaging, relevant and effective. They place compliance at the center of an organization’s learning culture. Revitalized training can affect the changes in individual and collective behaviors that make it sustainable and get people working compliantly.
In short, changing the way we regard, situate, and deliver compliance training makes compliance easier.
Compliance must become part of normal working practices so you can ensure your business is operating safely and legally. Get in touch to find out how Learning Pool can help you with this process.
Rob is Learning Pool’s Head of Marketing, providing marketing leadership across all facets of Learning Pool’s brand, products and technologies.
He started his marketing career in the late ’90s, with significant time spent working in the media sector and is particularly skilled in Marketing Management, Digital Strategy, Research and Market Planning.
Rob holds a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Marketing Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. He now spends most of his time working out how to clearly communicate our ever-growing range of learning technology solutions to interested audiences in Europe and across the US.
Away from the office, Rob tries to balance family life with a passion for cycling, hiking, travelling and all things outdoors.