July 31, 2017

7 questions you should be asking about your compliance training

code of ethics and compliance training

So far this year, unethical workplace behavior has led to the firing of high-profile CEOs, TV hosts and government officials, to name a few, along with huge fines and the inevitable damage to reputations and brands. You have to wonder, what value, if any, did these individuals and organizations place on ethics and compliance training?

During a recent webcast on global ethics and compliance hosted by professional services firm Deloitte, 28.5% of executives polled said the No. 1 challenge to employees complying with their organization’s ethics program is “inconsistency of clear, concise and frequent ethics program communications and training for all employees.”

The other challenges are:

  • Lack of incentives and repercussions around ethical and unethical behavior (16.3%)
  • Varied ethical standards of third parties with whom employees interact (14.8%)
  • Differing ethical standards for various employee groups (12.5%)

No doubt, there are many approaches to creating and enforcing ethics and compliance programs. However, when it comes to compliance training, there is general agreement on what works and what doesn’t.

As you evaluate your eLearning strategy and employee compliance training program, here are seven questions to ask:

  1. Does your online training use video storytelling? High-quality video scenarios create emotional connections between employees and the course content and are much more effective than the old, boring “click next, click next” approach.
  2. Is it interactive? Static content is a yawner. The best online compliance training takes a learn-by-doing approach, offering employees a bit of fun and entertainment, while challenging them to recognize ethical dilemmas and gray areas. The focus should be on knowing how and when to take action, rather than memorizing rules and laws.
  3. Are the topics presented in bite-size episodes? Unless it’s binge watching “Game of Thrones,” modern learners prefer to consume digital content in bite-size nuggets. Microlearning takes less time, is mobile friendly and boosts employees’ confidence to absorb, understand and retain the material.
  4. Is the content relevant? To capture the shorter attention spans of millennials, compliance training must not only look and sound modern, the content must be relevant to their work environment and real-life experiences. Featuring recent news stories is another powerful way to connect learners to the topics.
  5.  Does it use gamification? Gamifying exercises can transform compliance training from something employees dread to something they actually enjoy. Look for training that uses gamification and engagement points to clarify complex concepts and topics and provide a fun way for employees to test their understanding, spark their competitive spirit and increase retention.
  6. Is it easy to customize? If your compliance training isn’t tailored to your organization or industry it won’t stick with employees. With all the eLearning tools and technologies available today, you should expect your compliance training to reflect the specific needs of your organization and staff.
  7. Does it survey end users? Compliance training that concludes with a brief end-user survey can provide valuable insights into employees’ views and experiences. Capturing user feedback as soon as they complete a course will identify strengths and weaknesses and provide direction when it’s time to update the training.

Traliant Insight
While there’s no surefire way to avoid ethical missteps and violations in the workplace, having the right compliance training can both decrease the odds of misconduct happening, and provide a concrete way to create and reinforce an ethical culture.

Bottom line: Look for training solutions that leverage the best of eLearning strategies and instructional technologies and give you confidence that your employees understand how to recognize potentially unethical situations and know how to act appropriately.