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Learning & Development Blog

Creating Engaging Compliance Training

5 Ways L&D Plays a Role in Creating Engaging Compliance Training

In a world of rapid change, managing risk is crucial. A lack of engagement and effectiveness in compliance training puts organizations everywhere at risk. As organizations try to move forward after the pandemic altered most business models for the foreseeable future, it’s critical that leaders in the compliance world consider implementing the modifications they’ve made in the last year or so, a permanent change. More than ever, it’s imperative to keep employees engaged. The disruption caused from the pandemic made it abundantly clear that compliance tends to be an issue among organizations-- and keeping employees engaged is definitely not a new problem.

As employees continue to work in remote and hybrid settings, the specific pain points of compliance training have come to light. Compliance training has become one of the most important aspects of learning and development, with the majority of organizations spending training dollars here versus other areas. Let’s briefly go over some facts on why organizations view compliance training as a critical factor in their L&D programs, and then we’ll touch base on some improvements your organization can make to have more effective and engaging approaches for your teams.

Why is compliance training important?

Compliance and regulatory training is often mandated by government agencies that regulate an organization’s business practices. Compliance training aids in helping your organization follow laws and reduce liability risks, all while operating effectively and efficiently. Compliance training safeguards your organization from legal, regulatory, and corporate violations that can result in hefty fines and penalties. By training employees to become more knowledgeable about the rules and regulations that affect their specific job roles, you are protecting your organization from a variety of these detrimental impacts. Compliance training takes time and should be an ongoing process, as opposed to inundating employees with large amounts of information that they will not retain.

A shortage of information encompassing compliance and regulations can have devastating effects on an organization, and this is ultimately mirrored by an employee’s behavior. While some employees think that compliance training serves to weed out scams, the training can also help employees understand what behaviors are and are not compliant with the organization. Without this training, employees would be left to themselves to decide what plan of action to take, which adds risk into the organization.

Facts about Compliance

Organizations of all sizes are becoming aware for the need to comply with regulatory environments and risk management. With spikes in data and privacy leaks and financial crime, organizations put over 80% of their employees through compliance training on a yearly basis. According to a study by SAI Global and Towards Maturity, 96%of these organizations want to generate more meaningful data to measure and improve effectiveness, while 42% of all online training content used is compliance-related. However, only 27% of organizations that are looking for indication of change in behavior are actually succeeding. Compliance leaders are faced with a number of issues to comply with the increasing demand for regulatory trainings.

Business leaders need to commit to regulatory compliance and set the tone. I’ve said it before, but organizations need to lead from the top down. A large percentage (over 50%) delegate compliance training to other departments or teams. When organizations are faced with this crucial process, L&D leaders can provide training to well-equip and prepare employees.

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How to Create Effective and Engaging Compliance Training

Although engagement is an important factor for any training program, it’s typically lack-luster when it comes to compliance. Compliance training is oftentimes more complex and unyielding, which can prevent instructional designers from creating certain design elements might distract or reduce the seriousness of the trainings. Although compliance training needs to be taken seriously, that does not mean it has to be boring. Let’s look at a few ways to make your compliance training more engaging for your organization:

  1. Personalize an interactive design: Design a training experience based on your employees’ and organization’s goals. Simplify the experience and enable it to be accessed across multiple touchpoints. Gamification is a great way to encourage healthy competition and motivate employees to complete training.
  2. Consider microlearning: Digital-enabled delivery strategies reduce training time, personalize the experience, increase engagement, and make learning more accessible via mobile devices and laptops. Bite-sized chunks of information are designed to assist in periodically reinforcing important information.
  3. Just-in-time opportunities: Training often occurs at the same time, every year. Consider the learners’ needs and have training available when they need it most. Day-long training courses are becoming a thing of the past, and time is very valuable for each individual employee. To do their jobs better, employees want information at the time it’s needed.
  4. Utilize storytelling: Although compliance training is often seen as boring and merely a formality, it needs to be believable the relevant. Provide real-life scenarios for employees to engage with and experience. Mimicking situations that employees face or have faced allows them to apply it to real-life situations, and the information is actually retained.
  5. Incorporate social learning: Provide employees with the capability to collaborate with their peers in the form of a group activity or a discussion forum to share knowledge or ask questions.

When designing your compliance training program, identify the different roles and responsibilities. Consider creating learner profiles or groups and modularize the courses as your organization sees fit. Make sure your L&D leaders are clearly outlining all of the training objectives. Despite initial and expected lack of enthusiasm, employees are able to become motivated to complete mandatory compliance training, with engagement and efficiency. Compliance training doesn’t need to be boring. Keep your employees engaged with visually appealing, realistic, and relevant content that they can really grasp and understand. Keep things bite-sized, simple, and adaptable to get the most out of your compliance training.

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