For many organizations, and their unfortunate employees, compliance training is a once-a-year required event where dour-faced instructors ramble off a litany of “do’s,” “don’ts” and “you’d better not’s.” It’s the type of training that is guaranteed to fail to make an impact for obvious reasons. Employees simply don’t like being lectured at, bombarded with a bunch of legalese or treated like they’ve already done something wrong, or are about to. 

Companies of all types and sizes are required to provide certain types of compliance training for employees. They’re not required to make that training tedious though.

5 Best Practices to Make Sure Your Compliance Training Has an Impact on Employees

Don’t Put the Focus on Compliance

Sure, it’s compliance training. But that’s not the kind of terminology that engages employees and keeps their attention. Instead take a more positive spin to focus on the role employees play in helping to ensure a positive culture—a culture of mutual respect for all.

Align the Training With Your Culture

Show employees how your compliance-related policies and practices support your culture. Offer examples of situations that employees—and leaders—have found themselves in and how the culture has helped them navigate these situations. Explain how employees themselves can help to support the culture by being observant and serving as active bystanders in situations where they may see others straying from expectations.

Make it Ongoing

Compliance training isn’t (or shouldn’t be) something that you do once a year and cross off your list. To have an impact, training should be incorporated into an ongoing communication process that includes a wide range of inputs—from one-on-ones with managers to posts on the company intranet site to formal training sessions. And, as you can, take advantage of opportunities to share actual examples of how employees handled specific situations effectively. 

In addition, think about specific times of the year when compliance training, or updates, could be especially helpful. The holidays are one example. With parties and other casual gatherings going on, employees can all use a reminder of the types of behaviors that are, and are not, acceptable. 

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Make it Actionable

Gathering information before and after training and using that information to identify opportunities for improvement and take corrective steps, is one very important way you can ensure that your compliance training has an impact on employees.

Make it Fun

Compliance may not seem like the type of content that could lend itself to fun, but to the extent you can think of ways to make the content engaging and interactive. For instance:

  • Provide scenarios based on the types of issues employees are likely to deal with. Or build scenarios based off situations that are in the news. This can be a way to encourage lively discussion without concern for violating any privacy issues.
  • Think of ways you might incorporate interactive content—e.g. quizzes or games. This can be a good way to enhance learning and engage participants.
  • Focus on practical applications—not the types of situations that are least likely to occur, but the situations that employees are very likely to find themselves in. These are the kind of scenarios that can really make an impact.
  • Encourage input and active discussion. To impact employee engagement, you need to engage them. Create an environment that is open, transparent and two-way. 

Think about how you might refresh and reenergize your compliance training to better engage employees and to ensure a positive impact. Start by incorporating these five best practices in your training plans. 

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