What is Compliance Training?
According to Wikipedia, “compliance training refers to the process of educating employees on laws, regulations and company policies that apply to their day-to-day job responsibilities. An organization that engages in compliance training typically hopes to accomplish several goals:
- Avoiding and detecting violations by employees that could lead to legal liability for the organization;
- Creating a more hospitable and respectful workplace;
- Laying the groundwork for a partial or complete defense in the event that employee wrongdoing occurs despite the organization's training efforts;
- Adding business value and a competitive advantage.
In the presence of effective compliance training, the employees get familiar with the operating procedures and philosophies of the organization. They learn about the ethical and legal issues that are required and go along with their job requirements.
Compliance Training is the Priority
While some aspects of compliance training explicitly relate to individual job responsibilities, others may be more generalized and usually apply to almost all the organizations. Similarly, some may be specific to your organization or business only.
Some of the most commonly addressed topics of compliance training include:
- Legal regulations such as disability act
- Workplace violence
- Policies and disciplinary actions for sexual harassment or other misbehaviors
- Conflict of interest
- Policies related to general benefits of employees like family medical leave act
The only way to avoid violation of these regulations is by keeping the employees fully aware of the policies and the applicable disciplinary action. Usually, violation of such regulations results in loss of employment, fines and even criminal prosecution. Thus, when the staff remains fully trained and also follows the outlined mandate, the organization face no less legal issues including the unsafe working environment.
How Can You Keep the Compliance Training Effective and Engaging for Employees?
As much as it is important for an organization to schedule compliance training for the staff, the same amount of consideration should also be given to make it effective and engaging for employees. Unlike any other regular employees training in which you train the staff how to perform a particular or basic job function or how to use your software programs, compliance training topics are often repetitive on a yearly basis. This repetition and the involvement of legalities make this training quite boring.
For instance, when organization pay no adequate attention to design proper training material or put no efforts in the preparation and delivery of the material, employees tend to neglect it as an unimportant thing or assume that they already know everything about this.
Compliance training doesn’t need to be a snooze-fest. If you can add a little bit of preparation and creativity for its delivery, it can be really engaging for your employees.
Here are some suggestions to prepare a new or update an existing compliance training plan of attack. An effective compliance training experience will not only ensure that employees fully recognize the regulations but it will also improve and encourage a better and superior workplace culture.
Keep It Simple and Avoid Information Overload
Since compliance training involves legalities, rules, and regulations, it must be presented in a simple and short incremental burst. The language used for training purpose should be simple and avoid technical jargons. Keep the material concise and to the point and let the trainees fully comprehend the reasons for and importance of the implemented rule or regulation.
No one likes to read lengthy pages of rules and regulations. Information presented in this manner cannot be remembered for long. In fact, to absorb a sheer abundance of legal information is one of the most challenging aspects of compliance training. The best way to make your material memorable and to help employees retain the information and keep data fresh in their minds is to adopt microlearning.
Support the Training Material with Real Life Examples
Effective compliance training is the one that adds value and is meaningful. If your staff fail to connect the training with their everyday activities, it is least likely that they will remember the information, take interest in the ongoing training or later on or stay motivated to contribute in the training program. Thus, start engaging employees by discussing case studies and real-world scenarios that would relate to actual work ethics and situations and let them connect with the involved issues on a deeper level.
Some big organization never fail to support their compliance training program by keeping them full of interactive or fun activities that would help employees learn and take decisions in a risk-free environment and without causing any harm to the organization.
Use Different Training Methods
When you incorporate a variety of learning methods, it also involves using different ways of presentation. Every learning method has its own effectiveness and before you choose a learning method or strategy you must know the audience. You cannot use the same learning method for training the labor force as that of training the middle management.
Similarly, you need to ascertain if you want your training session full of learning activities or interaction. Particularly considering an Elearning training platform you would need to integrate the interactivity into the learning course. An interactive learning course is the most effective and fastest way to deliver the information and to help trainees retain it longer. More on this is in our blog post on how to create an online course.
All of these are the most crucial factors in designing an effective compliance training program. In addition to these, make sure you keep the training material updated. Avoid using same old group activities or examples every year. Keep the key concepts but don’t keep the learning method same all the time as this will make employees to lose interest and they will pay no attention to the training program right from the beginning.
Importance of a Good Compliance Training Program
A compliance training program is indispensable for an organization. It contributes to creating a productive and healthy working environment and enables a business to avoid conflict of interest as well as financial or reputational risk.
It helps the organization in the following ways:
- Improves employee engagement and awareness at all levels
- Mitigate the financial and reputational risk attached to the business
- Management drives satisfaction using the ‘warm glow effect’ as the employees see their managers as standard-setters and as role models.
- Protection of stakeholders and to avoid criticism and brunt of public scrutiny in case of facing any loss or business risk.
- Establish a fair and transparent culture in an organization. It helps in the implementation of effective governance that relies on dialogues and clarity
- It provides support in the management of risk. Nothing can be more effective in reducing the likelihood of facing risk than spreading awareness and taking control measures to avoid it in the first place.
As a matter of fact, compliance training is not about teaching staff about how to use a machine. This is something employees learn in a job-specific training. Compliance training is crucial as it provides employees as well as the organization an opportunity to ensure adherence to companies’ policies, philosophies, and operating procedures. Compliance training gives employees a sense of safety and security both physically and in terms of their rights.
It makes them understand that an organization values them and aim at protecting their rights in the same manner as they aim for protecting the company as well as other employees rights.
Compliance Training Builds Trustworthy and Reliable Stewards of Corporate Values
Regardless which type or size of organization we consider, all of them believe in strengthening their corporate culture. They believe in establishing an environment of active employee engagement and it is certainly not difficult to understand why.
For employees to contribute towards this overall organizational goal employees not only need an incentive to change but compliance training fulfill their need by leveraging their understanding of good conduct expectations and content knowledge.
Compliance training offer inspiring as well as demonstrable results for a management which aim to instill corporate values while promoting social responsibility, organizational and employee integrity and sustainability in the company they serve.
The adherence to the company’s policies, rules and regulations are not just limited to following them but also in disclosing the unethical behavior of others. This training is crucial as it help employees recognize the importance of observing and reporting the fraudulent behavior within the organization. In fact, this is the first internal control and step towards mitigating financial and reputational risk.
If we speak of public companies, there is a need to enable whistleblowers. Similarly, in private companies, there is a need to establish a fearless culture when it comes down to reporting fraud. Both of the factors are key measures to avoid major business risk.
When a business takes a rule-based and practical approach towards risk management, it also plays a crucial role in creating corporate values. It enables the board members to purposefully steer their company to future success and longevity.
In present times, adherence to laws and regulations of an organization is inevitable. But not all the organizations design an effective or successful training program. This leads to failure in complying with the company’s laws, rules and regulation and may cause your business to face severe penalties while destroying the company’s standing.
Compliance training needs to be taken seriously and at all hierarchal levels of an organization. It protects your company’s values and it is the only way to show your company’s integrity in the corporate world. So, ensure effective compliance training in your organization and make employees care about this training, regardless of how complex it is. After all, it is the only training that is designed to protect the business’s most valuable asset i.e. its reputation in the corporate world.