Compliance training is more than just checking a box. Employees need to understand how it can help them do their jobs better. These 10 tips will help develop a learning culture that also supports your organization’s safety goals.
Compliance is critical for every organization. And with regulation and compliance becoming more and more complex, effective compliance training is becoming more crucial than ever to help mitigate risks and ensure there are no violations or penalties.
Accordingly, compliance training should be taken very seriously; it’s more than just checking a box to meet the minimum requirements.
All too often, companies—and their employees—shortsightedly view compliance training as a burden and are therefore more likely to fail. However, when companies view compliance training as an opportunity to improve and grow, they inherently become better and more profitable organizations.
Compliance is more than policies. It's equipping your employees with the right skills and training to handle the complexities of laws and regulations—and do their jobs more safely and efficiently.
This all begins with a shared goal of a truly compliant organization, one in which the desire to keep the organization safe is at the center of its culture.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) explains that "at a minimum, comprehensive compliance programs should include … the development and implementation of regular, effective education and training programs for all affected employees …developing, coordinating, and participating in a multifaceted educational and training program that focuses on the elements of the compliance program, and seeks to ensure that all appropriate employees and management are knowledgeable".
Adherence to your industry’s regulations is vital, and thankfully, most companies understand the importance of compliance-related training. In fact, a 2015 research, by Brandon Hall Group, revealed that 49% of the organizations surveyed considered compliance training a priority critical to their business.
Below are 10 considerations to create effective online compliance training that ensures not only that employees understand the regulations to which they must adhere, but also helps to ensure long-term retention and employee buy-in.
Knowing your audience is paramount as it will prove nearly impossible to design and develop effective online compliance training courses appropriate for them if you don’t. With information about their education, job experience, and more, you can avoid unnecessary information—and stick to what matters most.
When you can tie compliance training to real-world scenarios, employees will be able to better contextualize how their online training relates to their day-to-day work activities. For example, case studies and real-world benefit scenarios that reflect your audience’s work circumstances will help them develop a connection with the issues in a risk-free environment.
Storytelling is a powerful technique and real-life connection opportunity for compliance training. Not only does it motivate learners and create a more immersive experience, but it serves to foster a greater emotional connection to the subject matter.
Employing educational diversity – visual, acoustic, and kinesthetic learning styles and beyond – can help accommodate diverse learning preferences. Consider incorporating different types of multimedia into your compliance training strategy, like visuals such as images and infographics, audio elements, gamification, simulations, and informative videos in order to avoid monotony, add variety to the training program, and address all potential learning needs and preferences.
Compliance training can often feel like drinking through a firehose. Employees are expected to absorb an abundance of information in a relatively short amount of time. Make information palatable and retainable by enlisting microlearning, breaking your content up into short, bite-sized modules. This will not only help your employees process a lot of information, but it will also make it easier for you to focus on your learning objectives.
Mobile learning gives employees the flexibility to access the training anytime from anywhere at the exact point of need, meeting learners where they are, and enabling them to switch between devices in order to continue their learning seamlessly.
An LMS can serve as a centralized data repository to hold training records, competencies, certificates and more, accessible whenever and wherever needed, and providing a summary of each employee’s real-time status, history, and future compliance training schedules.
Online surveys, questionnaires, and polls provide an opportunity for your learners to share opinions and voice concerns, as such information can provide invaluable insight into the minds of employees and offer the opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current training strategy.
Some courses may require employees to re-take a training course after a specified time period in order to remain compliant. An LMS can allow you to send reminders—or nudges—to prompt learners to come back and re-certify on time. Further, nudges facilitate delivering information when it is most meaningful to initiate learning as well as help with long-term information reinforcement and retention in the weeks or months after completing an online course.
Collaborative learning allows employees to work together, enriching learning through interaction with others. And with social media, learning can happen in an informal setting, at any time from anywhere. Social media can help encourage the exchange of ideas and knowledge while supporting collaborative work, all while content is organically and effortlessly churned by the users themselves—without expensive expert input.
Anyone who’s said that compliance training can’t be fun has obviously not experienced the right compliance training. In fact, effective compliance training not only allows but also encourages an emotional connection between employees and their training. And perhaps surprisingly, emotion is important because it "drives attention, which in turn drives learning and memory", according to Robert Sylwester, Professor of Education at the University of Oregon.
"Activities that draw out emotions—simulations, role-playing, and cooperative projects, for example—may provide important contextual memory prompts that will help students recall the information during closely related events in the real world".
So, personal—even humorous—anecdotes can really take the overall pressure of compliance training off and add a humanizing intimacy.
Most businesses and industry organizations rely on compliance training as means to adhere to the many rules, laws, and regulations in order to mitigate risks and avoid litigation and penalties—and the first step is adopting an effective, thoughtful, and comprehensive training program in order to ensure the success of your employees and the compliance of your business.
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