Compliance Training for Employees - Why, What, and How?


The modern workplace provides employees with the flexibility of working at any place as well as the facilities they require to work at a faster pace adding maximum efficiency. The downside of this is a hectic and stressful environment demanding seamlessly faster, better, and cost-effective output. Thus, the employees need to be always job-ready, adapting to continuously evolving technologies, processes, and responsibilities.




While performing the responsibilities to meet the expectations, employees also need to adhere to specific compliances. Failing to adhere to compliances might lead to

  • Cost of non-compliance

  • Damages to organizational reputation or brand image

  • Legal consequences

To avoid such situations, organizations are making compliance training a critical mandate. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of compliance training, why this is required, and how to go about it.


What Is Compliance Training?

Compliance training is a mandatory part of the employee onboarding program. This training empowers new recruits to understand the basic compliance requirements of the organization. It provides a strong framework for workplace practices that can prevent potential issues, risks, or damages.


For example, every organization has its own workplace ethics, rules, and regulations that the employees need to follow. Apart from that, there are federal and state laws, financial compliance, safety & security rules, cybersecurity protocols, etc.


The purpose of compliance training is to ensure that the employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities, work processes, workplace ethics, applicable laws, and policies, legal commitments, etc. so that they can perform at their best without any deviations from the prescribed laws and regulations.


Types of Compliance Training

Let us look into a few basic compliance training types to understand why these are important:


Compliance Training

Description

Risks for Non-Compliance

Workplace Ethics

Workplace ethics is a set of moral principles or code of conduct that forms the behavioral framework of employees. These ethics set standards based on organizational values.

  • Dishonest employee

  • Negative / toxic work-culture

  • Inefficient & unproductive workforce

  • Loss (money, reputation, brand image)

HR Policies

Human resource (HR) policies include rules, guidelines, and processes of employee management starting from the recruitment stage till the exit stage. Examples: Onboarding, Attendance, Leave Management, etc.

  • Lack of control over employee behavior, productivity, efficiency, and discipline at work.

Work Processes

Organizational teams are responsible for specific tasks. Every task must follow a set of defined processes.

Example: Vendor Management, Project Management

  • Low productivity

  • Bad quality of work and deliverables

  • Loss of money, reputation, and brand image

Data Security

The key aspects of data management are - confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Data security is the set of protective measures for data against unapproved access, data errors, damages, or data loss, thus ensuring that the key aspects are followed.

  • Data breach exposing private information

  • Incorrect information affecting work and customer deliverables

  • Loss of money, reputation, and brand image

  • Fraudulent activities

Cyber Security

Cyber security is the practice of protecting all hardware and software linked to business operations from digital attacks.

Examples: Network security, application security, Information security, etc.

  • Malware attack

  • Phishing

  • Hacking

  • Data leakage

  • Operational shut-down

Diversity and Inclusion

This policy states that the organization is committed to ensuring an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace. It also includes a complaints redressal system for discrimination in the workplace and provisions of support to physically challenged employees.

  • Toxic work culture

  • Low employee motivation

  • Lack of diversity

  • Poor work quality

Health and Safety

This policy is a commitment to protect the health and security of the employees, as well as the surrounding community. It includes the measures taken by the organization to ensure that the employees can work in a safe and secure workplace.

  • Unhealthy work environment

  • Bad health of employees

  • Accidents / injuries at the workplace

Anti-harassment

This policy is a commitment to prevent any unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical disability, etc.

  • Toxic work culture

  • Low employee motivation

  • Lack of diversity

  • Poor work quality

Industry laws, regulations, and standards

This practice of compliance refers to adhering to the laws, policies, and regulations that apply to a business set by the government, at the state or local level for standards set at the national or international level.

  • Legal consequences

  • Cancellation of business license

  • Legal fees

  • Loss of revenue


Financial compliances

This policy includes all compliances from payroll to taxes to financial disclosures.

  • Legal issues for non-payment of taxes

  • Business shut-down

Environmental compliances

This policy is the commitment of an organization to the laws, and regulations, related to all environmental issues such as air and water pollution, waste management, ecosystem management, and maintenance of biodiversity, natural resources, wildlife, and endangered species.

  • Unhealthy environment (air/ water pollution)

  • Spreading of diseases due to unclean environment

  • Damages to living organisms

POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Work)

This policy includes compliance rules to provide a safe, secure, and enabling environment, free from sexual harassment for every woman. It ensures that women in the workforce will be treated with dignity.

  • Unsafe work environment for women

  • Demotivated women in the workplace

Developing a Compliance Training Program

The most important challenge for compliance training is to create a sense of purpose for the employees to make the learning experience meaningful. One more challenge lies in learner engagement in the training program, i.e., the degree of learners’ interest, attention, interaction, time spent, and completion rate. If the learners do not understand the purpose of the compliance training program or they find the program boring, they would tend to avoid the program. Even if they attend the programs, they may not remember the topics for long. As a result, the purpose of conducting compliance training programs will be defeated.


To ensure a high level of learner engagement, we need to make the learning experience flexible (any time, place & pace), focused (knowing what to learn), tracked (what’s the progress), easy-to-read and understand, interesting, interactive, challenging, and rewarding.


In the following section, we will discuss the following factors that can address the challenges.


i) Learning Objectives: Sense of Purpose

We need to identify the learning objectives before creating the content because a sense of purpose can be developed when the learning objectives are clear in the beginning. For example, if in the manufacturing industry, one of the learning objectives is- to operate and repair equipment safely and accurately with proactive safety measures, then compliance training programs can be built around that objective.


ii) Learning Environment: Flexibility, Focus, and Progress

In the modern workplace, where employees can work at any place, the learning mode can also be flexible enough. Online learning is the best way to provide a learner-friendly environment where employees can learn at their own time, pace, and place. The first and foremost step for this would be to adopt an online learning environment. This gives the employees the freedom to choose their time, place, and pace of learning and removes the stress from their minds. A suitable LMS (Learning Management System) would make it easier. LMS is an online platform used for end-to-end training and learning activities that include hosting eLearning content, delivering online courses, tracking progress, and assessing learners' performance, etc.

 
To know more about how LMS can be used to deploy eLearning, read our blog: Why Should Organizations Use an LMS to Deploy eLearning?
 

iii) Engaging Learning Content

To create engaging learning content for compliance training, the following factors are to be considered:

  • Sequence: Arranging the training topics in the right sequence is essential, failing which the learners will spend much time on topics that they cannot correlate.

  • Size: If the learning content is text-heavy and non-interactive like a static PowerPoint presentation, not many of the employees will be even interested to go beyond the first 4 to 5 slides. Small, bite-sized topics are easy to read and comprehend.

  • Use of audio-visual content: People spend a lot of time on social media because the content is full of audio-visual elements. So, using these elements will attract learners more than simple textual content.

  • Gamification: This can make the content interactive, challenging, and fun-filled. Learners will be self-motivated to complete various levels of the gamified content to meet the challenges given to them. Further, they can avail of badges or stars (credit points) after crossing each level.

 
Read our blog: Steps to Improve the Quality of Online Learning Programs
 
Compliance Training Effectiveness

Now that we have seen the “Why, What, and How” of the compliance training programs, how do we ensure that the training is effective? What if the learners forget important compliance issues at the time of application? To answer the first question, we can run a survey for the learners after the program, asking them to rate their level of understanding. From the survey analysis, we can improvise the next level of training programs. For the second question, the answer is - repetition through refresher training, which is smaller than the previous one. Also, throwing occasional quizzes or contests on compliance topics would encourage the learners to retain the knowledge they have gathered from the programs. Last but not the least, continuous updating of the learning content with the latest news, events, or activities around the topics would keep the learning process on the move.

If you are working on compliance training for your organization through online learning, we can facilitate the strategies and methods. Write to us at sales@s4carlisle.com for more information.