The purpose of compliance training for employees is to aid their understanding of the legal boundaries within which their company operates. Compliance training is directed by regulation and policies, demonstrating to employees which laws are relevant to their job roles and what ones should be adhered to.
A recent example would be the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens. Another example is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which provides a framework for ensuring the health and safety of all employees in any work activity.
Compliance training is a high priority for most organisations due to the amount of regulations; therefore being able to identify when your compliance training is ineffective is vital in order to follow the necessary laws and maintain a safe working culture. Listed below are common signs to watch out for that show employee compliance training is failing:
1. Employees’ lack of regulatory knowledge
A common and obvious sign of ineffective employee compliance training is reflected through an employee’s behaviour. Compliance training can cover various topics including anti-harassment training, workplace safety, workplace violence, workplace substance abuse, information security training and diversity training. Therefore, if any of the above issues are present within the work environment, it shows that the compliance training is not having a significant impact on employees. It is vital that employees are made aware of the legal boundaries within the workplace in order to make a safe, inclusive working environment.
2. Staff view compliance as a burden or inconvenience
Staff who do not consider compliance training as important or are reluctant to take part is another sign that the training programme needs to be altered. Overall, the purpose of employee compliance training is to protect both employees and the organisation. It’s also meant to educate employees so that they are more likely to recognise and report illegal or unethical activity. If this activity is ignored it could have detrimental effects on the organisation and its reputation in the long term.
3. New regulations or laws take people by surprise
Compliance policies and legislation are constantly evolving, so it’s important that training reflects these changes. If staff are unaware about new compliance topics (such as the GDPR) it reflects badly on the company and could further develop into legal trouble. It is important to keep training up to date and accessible so employees can freely educate themselves.
4. Internal processes aren't working smoothly
Compliance laws affect the internal structures of businesses and the way responsibilities are allocated. For example, the beginning of GDPR means there is a need for large organisations to appoint a data protection officer. A lack of internal communication about the specific roles that need to be actioned will mean that laws and regulations will be ignored, which again would have direct costs to the organisation.
5. There are more accidents than there should be
Health and safety is a major area of compliance, so it’s essential to provide training and increase awareness to prevent accidents occurring in the workplace. An increase in the number of accidents is an obvious sign that employees are not educated in the health and safety laws within the workplace, which consequently puts them and others in danger.
So, what can been done to address the problem of a failing compliance training programme? Utilising e-learning can help transform lengthy compliance training materials into bite-sized modules that can be customised for specific departments, which makes the process of retaining vital information easier.
Tailored e-learning makes the training material more valuable to the learner, leading to higher engagement levels and more motivation from the employees. Engagement levels can also be increased through gamification of compliance modules; scenario based learning, achievements and a points system makes the prospect of learning about compliance a lot more enjoyable.
Observing any of the above is a clear signal that your compliance training is not being retained by your employees. It is important to consider a programme that is engaging and allows clear communication to protect both employees and the organisation. The notion of ‘one size fits all’ training is a common mistake to make when delivering any training – employees in various departments will have different laws and policies that apply to them. It is imperative that learning content is tailored and made relevant to each section of the workforce as a preventative course of action for that organisation.