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What is Compliance Training

What is Compliance Training?

In today’s rapidly changing and complex regulatory landscape of a business, the need for an informed approach to your business strategy that adheres with all the applicable rules and regulations and internal policies, to the letter and in spirit, is far more crucial than ever. This is exactly why business owners must view compliance training as highly critical to the sustainability and success of the business. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what is compliance training and what impact it makes on organizations

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Member of the Board, Raccoon Gang

Sergiy has 18 years of experience in eLearning and management. Creating educational programs, career paths, online and offline courses he is making the educational world better as a co-founder of RG.

What is Compliance Training?

Compliance training is a mandatory initiative that educates employees about the laws and regulations governing various aspects of company operations, such as hiring, safety, and data privacy. Its primary objectives are to minimize operational risks, ensure a safe workplace environment, and promote inclusivity and adherence to legal and ethical standards.

An organization that engages in compliance training typically hopes to accomplish several goals:

  1. Avoiding and detecting violations by employees that could lead to legal liability for the organization;
  2. Creating a more hospitable and respectful workplace;
  3. Laying the groundwork for a partial or complete defense in the event that employee wrongdoing occurs despite the organization’s training efforts;
  4. 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 a Priority

While some aspects of compliance training explicitly relate to individual job responsibilities, others may be more generalized and usually apply to almost all 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 the 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.

Types of Compliance Training

1. OSHA compliance training

Dive into the intricate world of workplace health and safety regulations with OSHA training, designed to enlighten staff about potential hazards and the protocols to prevent them. Ensure a safe, compliant environment, where every employee thrives without worry.

2. Cybersecurity training

Navigate the digital realm fearlessly. Equip your team with the know-how to ward off cyber threats, safeguard sensitive data, and foster a culture where online security is a priority.

3. Ethics training

Fortify the moral compass of your organization. Delve deep into ethical dilemmas, discerning right from wrong, and nurturing a corporate culture that upholds integrity, transparency, and trust.

4. Diversity training

Celebrate the myriad hues of humanity. Through diversity training, employees learn to embrace varied backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, fostering a workplace where every voice is valued and respected.

5. Anti-harassment training

Craft a workspace where respect reigns supreme. This training empowers individuals to recognize, report, and resist any form of harassment, ensuring an inclusive and supportive environment for all.

6. Anger management training

Discover the power of poise and patience. Equip employees with strategies to manage emotions, diffuse tense situations, and communicate constructively, even under pressure.

7. Healthcare compliance training

Dive into the intricacies of healthcare standards and regulations. Prioritize patient care and confidentiality while ensuring that every procedure, documentation, and interaction aligns with established protocols.

8. Anti-bribery and corruption

Champion a culture of uncompromised integrity. Equip your team with the skills to identify and prevent any form of bribery or corruption, standing firm against unethical inducements and fostering transparent business practices.

9. 508 compliance training

Build a digital realm accessible to all. Learn about the standards set by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, ensuring that all electronic and information technology is usable by people with disabilities, creating an inclusive virtual environment.

Benefits of compliance training

1. Reduced Risk of Non-compliance:

Organizations significantly diminish the likelihood of overlooking regulatory standards by staying ahead with continuous training and updates. This proactive approach prevents potential legal ramifications and ensures smooth business operations without regulatory hiccups.

2. Promotes an Inclusive and Safe Work Environment:

A well-structured training regimen establishes an atmosphere where employees from all backgrounds feel valued, understood, and secure. By addressing potential issues head-on, companies can create a harmonious workspace where mutual respect is a given, not an exception.

3. Defines Organizational Policies:

Clear and concise training helps lay down the blueprint of what is expected from every member of the team. By demystifying company policies, employees can work with a clearer sense of direction, understanding the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the organization’s modus operandi.

4. Balances Ethics with Priorities:

Training provides a roadmap that aligns ethical considerations with business priorities. By doing so, companies can ensure that profitability doesn’t come at the cost of moral integrity. Every decision made reflects a harmony between what’s right and what’s beneficial.

5. Boosts Company Reputation and Bottom Line:

A company that is known for its stringent compliance and ethical standards is more likely to be trusted by customers, stakeholders, and partners. This enhances its reputation in the market and can lead to increased revenue opportunities, partnerships, and customer loyalty.

6. Creates Evidence that Employees Received Training:

Documentation of training sessions serves as tangible proof that employees have been equipped with the necessary knowledge and guidelines. This evidence can be invaluable, especially in situations where companies need to demonstrate their commitment to compliance and training, be it for legal reasons, audits, or stakeholder assurance.

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 hierarchical 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.

FAQ

1. What is the purpose of compliance training?

Compliance training is integral to ensuring that an organization and its employees operate within the legal and ethical frameworks relevant to their industry. The primary purpose is threefold:

  • Risk Mitigation: To reduce the risk of violations, breaches, and subsequent penalties or legal action.
  • Awareness & Education: To inform and educate employees about laws, regulations, and company policies that pertain to their job functions.
  • Culture Development: To foster a proactive, compliant, and ethically-driven organizational culture. 

2. What should compliance training include?

Compliance training content can vary based on the industry and specific organizational needs. However, generally, it should encompass:

  • Legal Framework: A comprehensive overview of the laws and regulations that are pertinent to the organization’s operations.
  • Company Policies: Detailed explanations of company-specific policies, standards, and expectations.
  • Real-world Scenarios: Practical examples and case studies that relate to potential compliance issues employees might encounter.
  • Reporting Mechanisms: Guidance on how and when to report suspected breaches or violations.
  • Consequences: Information on the potential ramifications of non-compliance, both for individuals and the organization. 

3. What are the five essential elements of corporate compliance?

The essential elements of corporate compliance form the backbone of an effective compliance program. These five elements are:

  • Leadership & Culture: Senior management’s commitment to fostering a culture of compliance, ensures that it’s woven into the fabric of the organization.
  • Policies & Procedures: Clear, written guidelines detailing the acceptable practices and behaviors within the organization.
  • Training & Education: Regular and relevant training sessions that keep employees informed about compliance requirements.
  • Monitoring & Auditing: Proactive measures to track, assess, and ensure adherence to compliance standards.
  • Response & Prevention: Mechanisms for reporting violations, taking corrective action when breaches occur, and implementing measures to prevent future infringements.

By embedding these five elements into the core of their operations, businesses can establish a robust and resilient corporate compliance framework

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