It’s a truth universally acknowledged that compliance training is a drag. It’s dull, repetitive, and, worst of all, mandatory. What if there was a way to make administering and undergoing compliance training less tedious and time-consuming?
Compliance training’s dull reputation comes from its unrelenting focus on rules and regulations. Nobody wants to spend otherwise productive hours studying what they can and can’t do to keep the company out of trouble. But compliance training is often vital, and leaving it as an afterthought may have significant legal, safety, and cultural repercussions for your company. Topics like sexual harassment training, workplace safety training, and anti-bias and diversity training are essential for creating a safe workplace for everyone.
How do you make a compliance training plan that conveys this essential information without boring your teams’ socks off?
Careful planning and the right tools take the tedium out of compliance training planning. Take a simple approach to create more compelling training that employees want to do. That way, you spend less time chasing down completion rates and more time creating exciting training programs.
Compliance training is any employee training course that’s mandated by legislation, policy, or regulation. It’s a formal program for educating employees on safety, legal, or company regulations and procedures.
Compliance training is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of training programs:
Compliance training is one of the essential functions of L&D. The company needs to provide timely and up-to-date compliance training information for a variety of reasons.
While some of the materials covered in compliance training might be complex, starting and managing a program doesn’t have to be. Keep your compliance program simple. Assess your training needs and take advantage of quick-start content options to get training materials flowing.
Defining your needs will look different than a typical bottom-up training needs assessment. You can’t rely on employees to tell you the kind of compliance training they need. Instead, it will be up to HR or L&D to research the required training throughout the organization. Check with your company’s legal department to see what mandatory training regulations apply.
Beyond what’s legally required, pinpointing compliance training needs is about identifying risks and potential areas where the company could be legally liable if employees don’t have the right training. Consult industry trends, experts in the field, and industry regulations to create a list of potential areas of risk for each department or position in the company.
For example, hiring managers face unique potential risks associated with fair hiring practices, data security, and creating employee contracts. Create training materials that provide them with all the information they need to stay on the right side of the law, and company policy, in these areas.
Prioritize the urgency of these training needs based first on legal requirements, second on employee safety, and third on advancing organizational goals.
You have two options when it comes to creating course materials for compliance training: purchase an off-the-shelf program or create the course materials yourself.
Leverage off-the-shelf content
Leveraging off-the-shelf content from a provider like Udemy, SHRM, or NAVEX is the more straightforward option. It requires a financial outlay, but it lets you get started with training quicker. More importantly, if you are creating very technical or legally complex training materials, it may be simpler and safer to go with a pre-established program that is guaranteed to teach employees everything they need. 360Learning makes it easy to integrate these pre-purchased courses into our learning system.
Create courses in-house
If you feel confident in your organization’s institutional knowledge, the other option is to create courses in-house. This option is less expensive, but that’s not the only advantage. Team members will create content that is less generic and more specific to the needs of the organization. It’s also easier to update and fine-tune courses as needed based on employee feedback and policy changes.
A Collaborative Learning platform helps leverage the company’s internal knowledge base to create targeted courses. For example, your in-house legal department could design courses around data protection and privacy, or the tech department could create a course about email safety that showcases how to use your actual email interface.
Finally, it’s time to disseminate the training materials and manage their completion. Use your learning management system or collaborative learning system to segment employees based on the training they require and to distribute the courses.
Use back-end analytics to track completion rates, employee engagement, and the length of time it takes to complete each course. Collect feedback from employees, and use it to update and iterate the courses to be more compelling and accurate.
One of the critical functions of L&D is to make sure that all employees have received up-to-date compliance training. Managing compliance seems complicated at first, but good record-keeping and automation make these administrative tasks much easier.
Making compliance training more palatable means you’ll spend less time chasing employees to complete their courses. Use your LMS to create shorter, more convenient training and to create more engaging, active learning experiences.
It’s not that people are lazy; they are just busy. Make it as easy as possible to complete compliance requirements by keeping courses short and flexible.
Jettison dry in-person seminars in favor of online training that can be done anywhere, at any time. Mobile learning lets employees do their training whenever they have downtime.
Instead of courses that stretch for hours, aim for more and smaller learning sessions. Microlearning, courses that divide the material into bite-sized chunks, leads to better learner engagement, better knowledge retention, and faster course completion rates.
Courses that are engaging and employ active learning techniques are more likely to hold people’s interest. Active learning is anything that requires learners to do more than sit in their seats and passively absorb information. Make learning interactive with quizzes, games, or simulations.
Another way to encourage active learning is via collaboration. Learning in a vacuum is isolating and less effective than learning together with colleagues. Foster interactivity with online group discussions where team members can share their opinions and experiences.
Compliance training feels like a thankless job: HR or L&D is expected to do it but receive little in the way of kudos when done right. It can also turn into a monster of paperwork and tedious seminars if you let it.
Prevent it from getting to that point by keeping processes as simple as possible and creating engaging training that employees don’t mind completing. Build these systems early so that as your company grows, your compliance training program can quickly grow with it. Then, you can put your real efforts into the more attractive, business-enabling aspects of training.