Compliance Training: 4 Ways to Make it Social & Informal

Yes, compliance is a serious topic and it should be taken seriously, but that doesn't mean you can't engage your employees in fun, social and informal ways.

Since we released our Learning Insights Report last year we've recognised time and time again that there’s so much value in social and informal learning. And yet, there’s also a great deal of hesitation when it comes to including it in a learning solution, especially compliance. Concerns and risks, such as chaos and lack of authority lurk in the minds of managers. It is a realm that is not easily controlled, but that’s also the beauty of it. Learners have the ability to contribute and shape it – making it meaningful and relevant to them individually and collectively.

Here’s 4 ways to make your compliance training more social and informal:

1. Bring In More Autonomy

We all desire autonomy. It's natural. We do our best work when we have some ownership over the process. We want to be able to have "buy-in" and influence--it makes our work more meaningful and rewarding. Why not give your learners this freedom?

Tips for success:

  • Give them options: Most aspects of compliance training are mandatory. Think about adding elements that are voluntary and allow employees to make choices. 
  • Let them choose what's relevant: If I'm in a specific role and region, it's likely the whole compliance module isn't relevant to me. Let me just see what's relevant rather than the whole thing. From step one, I'll feel more engaged and tailored to.
  • Let them make choices: We've written a lot about goal based scenarios and their role in compliance. Learners feel ownership if they need to make decisions and there's a consequence. Set up those challenging situations.
  • Let them show you what they've learned: If this is a refresh from last year, don't make the learner repeat 90% of the same content. Set a good assessment, make it available and give freedom to take and pass it upfront. 

2. Make it More Pervasive

Structure is important and show be at the core of every compliance solution, but as we highlighted in our Learning Insights Report last year, learning is continuous, collaborative and connected, and most of the time it lives outside of the constraints of a LMS. About 70% of our learning is through experience. With this in mind, we need to consider ways of engaging employees outside of the elearning module. The same applies to compliance training and employees.

Tips for success:

  • Consider a blended approach: Include group discussions and workshops that focus on specific compliance issues which relate to specific jobs. Ethical dilemmas are complicated, so talking through situations and "gray" areas can help employees recognize red flags. 
  • Deliver a multi-channel learning experience: This includes portals, events and resources, communications, campaigns and more. One channel is not enough to deliver complex learning and change management programs.

3. Let People Collaborate

When I was in graduate school, my classes were primarily classroom based, but all of my professors used the school's LMS to create discussion threads for assignments. My cohort loved the discussion threads, and I certainly enjoyed learning from my classmates. It was a great way to keep learning top of mind when were weren't in class.  It was structured and not chaotic. The professor moderated the discussion and posed specific questions related to course content. However, he gave us flexibility to contribute new ideas and if the discussion diverted slightly, that was ok. 

Compliance needs to be shared and aligned with strategy and company values in order for a company to be successful. 

Tips for success: 

  • Create a community discussion page: Keep conversation flowing through consistent updates and moderation.
  • Ask guest bloggers to contribute: Then pose discussion questions related to their post. 
  • Keep tabs on popular apps: Watch them and see how you can incorporate similar tools into your solution. 
  • Build social tools into your LMS: Ask for quarterly feedback through surveys and questionnaires. 

4. Engage Leaders Differently 

"Do as I say, not as I do." I'm sure we have all heard this expression. This is exactly what we don't want, a company culture that says one thing and does another. So it is imperative that leaders and managers have extra support and accountability when it comes to modelling ethical behavior.

It is very difficult to enforce policies and regulations when leaders aren't following them. That is why it is so important to develop company managers and leaders because they have so much influence over employees. 

Tips for success: 

  • Develop special workshops for managers and leaders: Their roles are unique. They have greater responsibilities and pressures unique to their positions. Give each of them a stake in company compliance training that makes it necessary for them to proactively lead and communicate with their teams. 
  • Create incentives and recognize employees: If team members go "above and beyond" to live out company values, let them know about it. We thrive in environments that recognize out good work. Not only that, but it also tells other employees that good behavior is noticed.

Interested in applying a social and informal approach to your compliance training? We can help. We've worked with leading businesses globally to create compliance experiences and campaigns that make an impact. Learn more.