Where live compliance training fits in our increasingly web-based world.

E-learning has quickly become the de-facto delivery method for compliance training—and for good reason.

Exceptional e-learning should create training experiences that can be both intimate and subtle, giving users a sense of agency (PDF) and positive reinforcement through interactive design. What’s more, it’s infinitely scalable, portable, and trackable.

Still, live compliance training won’t go the way of the dinosaur. In this article, we’ll explore how supplementing compliance e-learning with live training can help establish a culture of compliance and reinforce essential learnings.

Strengthen core learning by setting an ethical example with team leaders.

When communicating via cell-phone and online messengers, we use emoticons and emojis to supplement our limited ability to convey tone through text. Thanks to the aid of a few underused syntax symbols, seemingly sarcastic statements like “thanks for the help” are transformed to earnest gratitude, “thanks for the help ;).” These symbols give emotion and intention to our words, so as not to misinterpret the meaning.

In much the same way, supplemental live training conducted by senior management takes a neutral item on an employee’s to-do list—interactive online training—and imbues it with greater significance.

By communicating the importance of compliance—and conducting training themselves—leaders set a clear example: compliance comes first, regardless of rank or revenue-generating responsibility.

This tactic is tragically underused, despite endorsements from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, among others. According to a recent PWC survey, only 55 percent of respondents said senior leadership at their companies either provided ad-hoc compliance oversight, or delegated compliance oversight to others (PDF).

For those looking for a leadership-driven training initiative, Michael Volkov, Principal of employment law firm Volkov Law recommends “cascading training.” Here, managers at all levels train their direct reports on compliance risks specific to their business function.

“It sends a message that I think is important,” Volkov said, in a recent talk with EVERFI. “Compliance can’t be limited to being owned by the compliance staff—it’s owned by the business and it has to be exercised by the business.”

Live compliance training clears up (potentially serious) misconceptions.

Web training works best when it creates relationships with users by respecting their intellect and reflecting their real-life experience. This dynamic makes live training particularly useful in enhancing learning through the intimacy of our workplace relationships.

Positive reinforcement—a hallmark of successful instructional design—carries greater emotional weight when given in person.

To that end, live training also gives learners the space to ask questions they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to.

As a species, we generally overestimate how well we understand just about everything. These misunderstandings carry the force of fact: misinformation spreads just like verifiable facts. This is hugely important, particularly because misunderstandings involving compliance can lead to serious mistakes.

“I’ve been surprised at live training sessions; you’ll get very honest questions,” Volkov said. “That, to me, is the value of live training—you get the person-to-person coverage.”

Live compliance training will continue to offer tangible benefits.

Live training is here to stay. As our understanding of e-learning deepens, no doubt we’ll find more space for human-to-human instruction.