Over the last decade, there have been profound changes in technology. There is big data, automated tracking, tracking tools, and other technological advancements. These advances have changed how compliance works in an organization. However, compliance training has been one of the exceptions in most organizations. There is no significant difference between the compliance e-learning that is being used today and the compliance training that was used a decade ago. It is still considered the most dreaded of all training sessions employees undergo in an organization.
According to the ATD 2018 State of the Industry report, mandatory and compliance training makes up 12 percent of the content in an organization’s training portfolio. Most of this training is delivered via e-learning and mobile learning. This data tells us that mandatory compliance training is necessary and unavoidable.
In most organizations, compliance training is made on a shoestring budget compared to leadership development training. Mandatory training is considered nothing more than a tick in the box. In such a scenario, how can compliance training move from stigmatized mandatory training to more engaging training?
Small bite-sized training available through mobile apps and other e-learning platforms in the form of microlearning makes the delivery more current. This approach makes the training more accessible and downloadable for the learner. Also, microlearning differs from the path of boring 30-minute-long e-learning and allows a more focused approach. Here, targeted learning can be directed at the learner and they can be tested often to check their understanding. If the learner fails the test, then he/she can be directed toward remediation material or the original training.
We can deliver the training in many interesting forms, but if the content is not relevant and engaging, we will lose most of our audience even before we get halfway through. When building compliance training, we need to make it emotional and also make it personal by providing real cases of the negative consequences and out-of-compliance examples, maybe it sticks to one’s memory longer. We can use videos of real-life employees talking about their experiences with compliance and safety. This will help learners understand why compliance training is important.
Most of the end-of-course assessments are repetitive and are too easy for the learner. The assessments should move away from merely recalling information to the application of learning. One way to do that is to create scenario-based assessments. Using branching scenarios to create dilemmas akin to real-life situations will put the learner at the center of the action and makes the course more challenging and engaging. There is also a growing trend to make the assessments more personalized. This can be achieved by moving the end-of-course assessments to the beginning of the course. These targeted assessments will identify topics where the learner needs remediation or reinforced training.
Compliance training is not going to stick without the endorsement of the top management or senior leaders. We must have leadership buy-in before we can even hope to increase learner engagement. The principles of compliance become stickier and more ingrained in your learners only if they see that the training is endorsed by their managers and seniors and they are equally excited about it.
These are just a few examples of how you can meet compliance requirements or tackle policies and procedures in a way that engages the learners. Compliance training can be engaging when we start delivering content that is personalized, easily consumable, and relevant that draws people. While designing compliance training, we have to remember that the learner is the primary stakeholder, even in mandated training, and look for ways to make the training more engaging.