If you’re getting ready to roll out compliance training throughout your organization, here are 10 tips to help you manage deadlines and improve completion rates.
1. Don’t roll out a course, roll out a program
It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but make sure you have a plan for the entire training year. In addition to the initial roll out, assign training to new employees during the onboarding process. Also, tie training to performance goals and assign additional training as part of mid-year promotions.
2. Let employees know what’s coming
Before starting the roll out, clearly communicate to staff the subject of the training, why it’s important and the organization’s expectations. Giving advance notice also allows employees to plan ahead and minimize any productivity loss. Consider offering incentives so employees want to participate and successfully complete the training. Gift cards or a donation to their favorite cause are examples of ways to motivate employees and create momentum.
3. Enlist managers to help with missed deadlines
When initial deadlines pass, and employees aren’t responding to reminder messages, enlist the help of individual managers, who can follow up directly with their staff on your behalf. If you can provide managers with an easy-to-use report with email addresses, all the better.
4. Roll out managers’ version first
Managers and supervisors can be much more supportive of your training program if they are familiar with the material and understand the strategy and learning objectives. By rolling out the managerial version of the course before the employee version, managers can serve as a knowledgeable resource for staff when questions arise.
5. Gather FAQs
Keep track of frequently asked questions you receive from individuals about the roll out process or the training itself. From these, you can develop FAQs to include in follow-up messages and communication about future assignments. You may also be able to use the questions to clarify or update course content.
6. Allow 30 days for completion
Give users 30 days to complete the training and be sure to avoid end-of-the-month deadlines that can interfere with sales or other important company deadlines. Compliance training is too crucial to put staff in the position of choosing one over the other. By creating an initial mid-week due date, you can press for completion by the end of the week.
7. Make your launch messages topical
Examples of workplace misconduct, violations and penalties are in the media daily. Reference news stories in your training communication and assignment emails to bring relevance and currency to any compliance topic.
8. ‘Assume the best’ in follow-up messages
“Mandatory training” is probably not on any list of employees’ favorite things, so try taking a more personal approach in your follow-up emails. And assume the best. It’s always possible the individuals started the training but the system doesn’t show it. Instead of, “Our records show you have not completed the mandatory training,” it’s more positive to say, “Hi Mia, it looks like you haven’t had a chance to start the new training course. Can I answer any questions?”
9. Build a rhythm of reminders
Friendly but steady pressure yields the highest percentage of course completions by due dates. As deadlines approach, schedule ten-day, five-day and two-day reminders. If employees still don’t respond, send out daily follow-up messages and enlist the help of department managers.
10. Survey your end users
Many compliance professionals hesitate to survey their end users about training because they feel they already know the results. However, our research shows that end user surveys provide valuable insights into employees’ training views and experiences. And most employees welcome the opportunity to express their opinions to management.