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Compliance Training: From Tedious Necessity to Strategic Opportunity

06 September 2023

3 Min Read

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Traditionally, compliance training has focused on ensuring that organizations follow industry-, agency-, and government-specific regulations to avoid the negative and costly consequences of non-compliance. It wasn’t seen as an opportunity to increase employee engagement and improve business performance.

Today, though, compliance is about so much more. Business objectives, training goals, and compliance requirements should be aligned to build an engaging learning culture and create a positive employee experience. Compliance training is a driver for increasing employee engagement and improving business performance over time. The International Compliance Association agrees that “modern compliance is about so much more than ensuring adherence to the many rules and regulations organizations face. Modern compliance is at the heart of the business”1.

Here are some tips for building a modern approach to compliance training:

Take a Strategic and Proactive Approach

Instead of looking back at what went wrong, compliance management needs to proactively mitigate risk through planning – while driving business performance. Forward-looking organizations see beyond legal obligations and ways to avoid legal action, fines, and fees when they build their compliance training strategy.

Based on recent Brandon Hall Group research (Compliance Training 2021), 72% of organizations are working towards making compliance training more strategic, and 60% of those organizations are doing it by improving the link to business performance outcomes.

A proactive and strategic approach to compliance training is critical for business performance especially in highly regulated industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, insurance and financial services. By making compliance part of a daily routine, organizations can also reduce the long-term costs of non-compliance.

Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Companies need to meet many industry and government requirements for diversity, such as EEOC laws in the United States. Unfortunately, companies often realize the need for DEI compliance training only when they face an adverse event, such as a complaint or lawsuit.

Successful organizations use the rules and regulations as a starting point rather than an end goal. Compliance training should be viewed as an opportunity to change behaviors and build a more inclusive workplace culture.

DEI has been proven to drive innovation and business performance in more traditional industries, such as manufacturing. According to research by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, companies with a diverse workforce experience increased productivity and better organization management and have a competitive advantage in the industry.

Tie Compliance to Talent Development

Need- and interest-based learning programs for skills development are usually designed to provide an engaging learner experience. As compliance training is mandatory, the historical approach has often been to just “tick the box” and get it done. Compliance training is often assumed to be dry and dull. This is a missed opportunity, as compliance training should be considered as a preventive measure and critical part of talent development.

Companies should enrich the compliance training experience to drive impact and make it as relevant, targeted, and enjoyable as possible. Organizations should also incentivize employees to take compliance training. However, according to Brandon Hall Group’s Compliance Training 2021 research, 56% of organizations still focus on avoiding punitive outcomes as their main incentive, and 49% provide no incentives to complete compliance training. Only 6% provide promotions or career advancement as an incentive.

Make Compliance Training Contribute to Learning Culture

Taking a proactive approach to compliance training contributes to building a learning culture in the organization. Engaging in compliance learning experiences improves the overall learning results and helps to change attitudes and behaviors. When compliance training is relevant and delivered via fun, modern learning formats, such as microlearning and gamification, companies can improve the learner experience.

Giving learners the ability to take control of their learning increases engagement and brings better results. When learners have the flexibility to take training when and where they want, based on personal needs and preferences, and revisit training modules to refresh their knowledge, they are more motivated and involved in creating a learning culture.

Typically, the first training employees take when they join the organization is compliance training. Any training new employees receive during their onboarding will set their perception of what learning will be like moving forward. If training is merely a non-stop barrage of generic, boring compliance training, it can be next to impossible to generate enthusiasm for any future learning programs.

Select the Right Learning Technology

An innovative learning management system (LMS) makes it easy to manage compliance training centrally and keep quality consistent across the whole organization and the extended enterprise. For multinational organizations, having compliance training available in multiple languages is critical for success.

Proactive organizations have training records that are always ready for compliance audits. Without the right learning platform, ensuring employees have completed the required compliance training is challenging. With comprehensive learning analytics and reporting tools, it is easy to discover, evaluate, and monitor insights that show the learning impact on critical areas of the business and adjust training whenever needed.

Learning technology selections must include key stakeholders both inside and outside of an organization. Learners, system administrators, managers, and business leaders should be included as part of the process. They need to identify the requirements, use cases, and KPIs that are important to them. It’s important to understand how each role will interact with the technology, and what it needs to do to empower them and make them successful.

The right learning technology will manage all an organization’s core compliance training needs regarding standards and reporting. Still, it will also provide a wider variety of personalized compliance training experiences, including mobile delivery. Reducing friction and boosting accessibility increases a company’s ability to keep its workforce informed, engaged, and compliant.

A modern compliance training program based on new learning methodologies and innovative technologies, aligned with business goals, can generate measurable business results.

Learn more about making compliance training easy – download our new white paper, Lead the change: leveraging technology to meet learning’s biggest challenges to learn more about utilizing the right technology to meet learning’s biggest challenges.


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