September 1, 2022

John Arendes, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Traliant, recently spoke with Tom Fox on the Compliance Podcast Network about how compliance training has evolved and its impact on learning and cultural change. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Realistic Work Scenarios that Engage Learners is Key to More Effective Compliance Training 

Tom: You’ve seen an evolution in compliance training to make it more engaging. Why has engagement become so important? 

John: The secret sauce of engagement is making courses applicable to the environment in which one takes it. Let me give you an example. We have a Preventing Discrimination & Harassment course that is designed for healthcare, and people say, “Why? Is the law different?” The answer is no, the law is the same, but a healthcare work environment is much different than a retail or office environment. When individuals see their real-life environment replicated in hospital setting or doctor office scenarios, it makes training much more relevant and engaging for them.  

Traliant has new seasons just like Netflix. We’re coming out with Season 5 of our Preventing Discrimination & Harassment course, which has new real-life scenarios taken from the news. We do this for all our industry versions of the course, including retail, restaurant, hotel, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, industrial and office editions. Customers tell us they look forward to the new seasons. 

Tom: Have you seen the thinking of regulators evolve as well? 

John: Absolutely. Department of Justice (DOJ) regulators are thinking about how you create behavioral change. When trying to design training that is more effective and impactful, it comes down to engagement. Take code of conduct for example. How do you create a code of conduct course that represents the environment of a company’s culture? How do you address anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and all those components that the DOJ wants organizations to look at? We address those things in real-life scenarios that people can relate to so they clearly understand what is required of them and are not just reading a document. 

Tom: Reputational damage can be as bad or worse than a fine and penalty for noncompliance. Do companies and their employees understand that fostering an ethical culture is important to preventing reputational problems in the marketplace? 

John: Yes, we continuously see that. Companies are looking for ways to take off-the-shelf training and make it impactful to their culture. They want to express the importance of the compliance steps they are taking beyond just training. One thing that organizations love about Traliant is our ease of customization. In fact, one of our customers recently included a video in the rollout of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Suite that communicates to employees that this isn’t just training, but part of ongoing education. People have started to look forward to training because they realize that the organization has taken time to reflect on its own mission and make training content that is relevant and engaging.  

Building a compliance training program that effectively fosters and reinforces an ethical culture can be a challenge for companies. The biggest challenges for compliance officers, General Counsel and Human Resources is that they often lack the budget to tailor training to their culture, brand and policies. We’ve solved that problem for customers by providing fast, cost-effective customization that accurately reflects their work environment and effectively conveys why ongoing compliance training is important to their culture. It’s something we do really well and our customers are raving fans. 

Click here to listen to the entire Compliance Podcast Network interview with John Arendes. 

John Arendes, CEO of Traliant, has over 25 years’ experience growing successful organizations and leading teams (remote and in-person) in the software and compliance training industries. 



Carole Walters