What comes to mind when you think of compliance training? Unfortunately, it does not have the best reputation; many view it as boring and monotonous. Despite that, employee compliance training is essential for organisations because adhering to specific laws and regulations protects both employees and the business.
Not only does compliance training deliver enormous cost savings –with the average cost being $5.47 million versus an average of $14.82 million for non-compliance, equating to an average difference of $9.35 million annually – it also encourages a culture of best practice in the workplace. As a result, workplaces are made safer and productivity is increased.
Although it is viewed as a chore to many employees, compliance training can be made into a more enjoyable learning experience. Traditional compliance training might take place in a classroom environment where employees are made to sit through long-winded PowerPoint presentations on complicated topics, but taking training online can change this.
Lengthy compliance modules can be transformed into bite-sized through e-learning. This helps employees remain focused; longer modules usually have lower completion rates. Taking training to mobile also gives a degree of power to the learners and allows them to complete training when it suits them, as opposed to being taken away from their daily duties for classroom learning. Finally, training can be easily updated and personalised, which is a necessity for compliance as the laws and regulations of the workplace are constantly changing. This means content becomes more valuable and tailored to the individual, improving engagement rates.
Compliance training can be made more enjoyable by being made more interactive for employees. E-learning platforms commonly have gamification features, such as achievements and points, which have positive impacts on employee engagement. Incentives are also a great way to engage employees and encourage them to persist with their learning.
For example, an office leaderboard can be created which ranks employees based on how well they are doing in their training. Whoever is top of the leaderboard at the end of the week might win a prize for their performance. Not only does this create friendly competition within the workplace, but it acknowledges the efforts made by top-performing employees.
Setting up scenarios and testing employees to see if they have the capability to identify various risks in a real life situation also makes compliance more engaging. One example is ‘Photo Hunt’, which involves cluttering a spare desk with office supplies so it looks in use. During this hunt, you would label various items with a phrase that should be identified as red flags for risks and take a picture with your smartphone. This picture can then be distributed by email to other employees, who have to send in all the risks they can spot. The employee who has spotted the most can be rewarded. Some examples might include labelling an envelope as ‘confidential’, which links to privacy regulations, or a writing pad labelled ‘contacts’, which can be linked to GDPR. An empty office cubicle could be used for the same purpose and made more interactive, like an escape room.
An additional tip to make compliance more exciting is to inject humour into the training. Opening up with humour will instantly make training seem less formal and put learners at ease. Humour allows important points to come across whilst making it memorable to learners, improving their retention of important facts. Incorporating humour can be done through e-learning or roleplay exercises, which humanises compliance and shows it has relevance to the employees because they can apply it to real life situations.
Although employees can be unenthused about compliance training, it can be made more compelling through different methods. Taking training online makes it both accessible and bite-sized, which is better for employee retention. This, blended with gamification features, such as achievements and points, will do wonders for employee engagement levels.
Gamification can also be applied in real-life settings through weekly incentives and leaderboards that are linked to their online training. Putting employees in these types of situations, which encourage them to identify risks, will also make training more memorable and teach employees how these risks relate to their everyday activities. The injection of humour and friendly competition within the office will make the topic of compliance more enjoyable and effective, ultimately helping employees retain important information and change their behaviour.