Check Boxes

Stop Checking the Box

Compliance Training Is All About Performance First — Not Checking the Box

When faced with compliance training as a learner, do you get this feeling of dread about completing it?

Do you think to yourself:

Here we go again; need to check the box.

How long can I put this off?

How can I speed through this as quickly as possible?

How can I just pass the test?

The point is, nobody likes compliance training, because they’re not learning something that builds their skills or advances their careers. If you’re a person in charge of designing and developing compliance training, you’re faced with overcoming this obstacle — and it’s a big one.

The role of a compliance training professional is extraordinarily important. What you do and how you do it can have a huge impact on your organization. Companies get audited, get monitored by regulatory agencies and fined, and in extreme cases, get sued for operating out of compliance. People can lose their jobs, and lives can be at stake, so training plays an important role in protecting your company and making sure none of this happens.

Innovative Learning Group has produced more than 350 custom e-learning and instructor-led compliance courses for clients in a variety of industries, including medical technology, insurance, utilities, and banking. Through this work, I’ve gained a new perspective on the topic and have seen what elevates compliance training from something of dread to something engaging.

A More Creative Approach

Creativity is the key. You need to get really creative in delivering compliance training in order to capture your learners’ attention, hold their attention, and dare I say, ensure they’re able to perform their jobs in compliance with policies, rules, regulations, and the law.

Compliance training doesn’t have to be boring. Make it more engaging by:

  • Depicting scenarios using higher-end media such as video vignettes with professional actors.
  • Using a mix of off-the-shelf and custom developed solutions.
  • Inserting humor to grab attention.
  • Including games and interactivity.
  • Removing mind-numbing policy content in the form of page-turner e-learning; reserve policy reference information for resource documents.
  • Investing in graphic design and formatting to make visuals appealing.

New Ideas

In addition to these ILG best practices, I’ve learned a lot recently from what other companies are doing for compliance training. I met a person from a pharma company who developed virtual reality scenarios of sales interactions where the learner had to identify when the conversation being observed was going out of compliance. Talk about engaging and relevant… and she did this because she wanted to simulate that heat-of-the-moment, emotional situation when sales people tend to go off-script to impress their customers. That’s a clever way to maintain learner focus.

In general, training is engaging when learners can see that it’s relevant to them and when it looks like a situation they may actually encounter.

I also heard a story from a training director who was promoting the value of her program by capturing video of influential people who completed and praised the training. She then used that video to promote the training. Yes, she actually had to promote the mandatory training and used the testimonials to create desire instead of dread.

When it comes to compliance training, your role in keeping your company out of hot water and your people safe is important. Make a case for getting the investment needed to develop the best, most compelling compliance training possible. It’s not about checking the box, it’s about putting performance first.

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