Environmental Health and Safety Training
September 13, 2022
Scott Schneider, Head of Content Development at Traliant, recently spoke with Tom Fox on the Compliance Podcast Network about the importance of code of conduct training and best practices. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Bring Your Code to Life for Employees
Tom: How has code of conduct training changed, and how much more dynamic is it today?
Scott: Code of conduct training has followed the evolution of the code itself. It has become less formalistic and more meaningful, more relatable, more helpful. Today, the industry has coalesced around the idea that training should be modular so that you can train on various topics within your code.
At Traliant, our code of conduct training is organized in modules that begin with a statement like, “Our code tells us we don’t discriminate.” We then translate that into company values: “We don’t discriminate because we value respect and want people to make their best contribution.” When you frame it in this bigger context, it begins to make sense to employees. It isn’t just a rule, it becomes something they can apply.
When an employee takes a particular training module, they see the connection between their employer’s code and the training, and between the code and themselves. It isn’t just a summary of the law.
Tom: Traliant’s training includes FAQs, tweets and emails from employees. It also incorporates an investigative report style, where a reporter talks about an issue. All these things are purposely designed into training to engage people, aren’t they?
Scott: People love stories, including stories about individuals doing things wrong. And they always have questions. I think it’s part and parcel of the way humans are wired. They want to hear what the next person thinks or hear a question from someone else that they wish they would’ve asked. In our latest training, topics are introduced by video characters, who stand in as proxies for real employees – and ask the kinds of questions real employees would ask.
Tom: Do you think compliance professionals understand that every employee touchpoint is an opportunity to sell compliance, whether it’s over a cup of coffee, answering a question or communicating during a team meeting?
Scott: Every touchpoint matters, including the ones we often don’t think about. For instance, a CEO sends a clear message that training matters just by sending a quick email to a direct report saying, “thanks for having everyone in your group complete training.
In today’s competitive environment, the most expensive part of a compliance program is not the money you spend on it. It’s the total time your employees spend on training. So, you’ve got to do a cost benefit analysis. Are you getting the most out of your training investment? Is it changing employee behavior? With code of conduct training, you don’t want someone to take the course and say, “I’m good till next year.” You want them to say, “Now I get what the code is, why it’s important and what I should be doing.”
Tom: What’s the most effective length of code of conduct training?
Scott: I always say that no good comes out of a two-hour meeting, because by the time a meeting has gone two hours, you’ll agree to anything just to get out of the room. We hear consistently from clients that they want shorter training, yet they also want in-depth training, so balancing the two can be a challenge.
The key to shorter training is understanding what the important takeaways are. Traliant courses start with the important takeaway and fill in the details to bring it to life. We don’t cover every legal detail. We’re training employees, not lawyers or judges. We focus on the information employees need to understand issues, what they should do, and how to spot potential problems and ask questions.
Click here to listen to the entire Compliance Podcast Network interview with Scott Schneider.
Scott Schneider, Traliant’s Head of Content Development, is a compliance professional and former attorney. He brings more than two decades of compliance experience to create impactful training solutions that help employees explore and understand critical compliance and workplace issues.