Compliance is like a failing relationship at most companies! Two unhappy parties, plodding through a process that, deep down, they know doesn’t work or bring them any joy.
Learners are fed-up with content that bores them to tears, and managers are close to tears being the nagging bore who demands that mandatory training is completed.
Why? Well, it’s the way compliance has always been done! The formats, the faces, the processes – they’re tried and, in our opinion, not tested enough for their suitably today.
But that’s an excuse that’ll no longer stick. Almost everything about how we work has moved forward while compliance has stood still (generally speaking).
Not on our watch! This blog post will help you unpick compliance and reframe it with a mindset and approach that works for today’s employees.
Here are your four rules for rebuilding modern compliance training:
- Rule One: Compliance shouldn’t be your opening bit with a new learning platform
- Rule Two: Compliance shouldn’t be the heartbeat of your learning culture
- Rule Three: Forget everything you thought you knew about compliance
- Rule Four: If you’re an L&D admin, make the admin easier for yourself
Rule One: Compliance shouldn’t be your opening bit with a new learning platform
Your company gets a new learning platform. You gear up for launch and decide getting the mandatory compliance training out of the way is a no-brainer. It’s got to be done at some point, and that way, you can move swiftly on to the interesting stuff, right? Plus, your people will be excited now the tedious part’s out the way.
Wrong, by that point, the damage might already be done.
To truly understand why this is a bad move, let’s travel back to Christmas 1989 – months after the very first Game Boy was released.
The Game Boy lesson: A good experience trumps practicality or process
Once you’d torn open the wrapping paper and realised your Christmas wish came true, the first thought was sticking a game in and seeing what the console had to offer.
There’s no way you’re sitting down and reading the instruction manual!
The joy is in playing the game and coming back to the instructions whenever the excitement finally died down, or you couldn’t figure something out on your terms. The impact and experience of playing the game convinced you it was worth coming back to the manual and figuring it out all properly. That way, you could go again and be even better at the game next time.
Very few parents are forcing their kids to read the manual cover to cover before letting them play a game or two on Christmas morning.
The same mindset needs to be applied to compliance training and learning platforms! By making it the first thing you do after launch, you are that nagging parent who insists the instructions are flicked through before you do some learning that you enjoy or makes you better at your job.
Do you really want to be the L&D Grinch?
Probably not! So what if we flipped that traditional approach on its head and made L&D level one about content that makes a difference and not your people disinterested. That leads us nicely to Rule Two:
Rule Two: Compliance shouldn’t be the heartbeat of your learning culture
Many companies have compliance-driven learning cultures, and you could be one of them!
Learning at these organisations is often about forcing people to complete mandatory training, first and foremost. Giving people new skills or the knowledge to overcome business challenges and truly make a difference are afterthoughts or never even thought about.
This essentially drives a train through L&D’s reputation, influence and credibility in the business.
What if I have a compliance-driven learning culture!?
An easy test is asking people what comes to mind when you mention learning and development. If their response is an anecdotal story of being chased up to complete some kind of mandatory training, that’s a telltale sign of a compliance-driven learning culture.
Essentially, you’ve got a massive PR issue on your hands. Neither learners or leadership view L&D as a valuable contributor to solving business challenges, meaning they won’t see the value in engaging with you or your initiatives.
So you can kiss goodbye to learner engagement and a seat at the executive table. That’s how damaging a compliance-driven culture can be…
What’s the alternative? Moving towards a performance or impact-driven culture
Nobody’s denying that compliance is critical, but we need a re-jig of our priorities and the timelines for which types of learning and training we implement.
Like our Game Boy scenario, our priority has to be helping people solve real challenges and have an impact in doing so. That not only helps people get better at their job and overcome hurdles that prevent them from doing so, it shows them the value in learning. Meaning they’re more likely to do it again!
And if the senior leadership team are seeing L&D’s influence in solving problems and developing people, you’re more likely to get that seat at the table.
Rule Three: Forget everything you thought you knew about compliance
If there was ever a rulebook that needed ripping up, it’s the compliance one! Too many people follow the way things have always been done, and too few are questioning why and whether it actually works for them.
Mind-numbing click-through courses. Ridiculously long content. Rolling out a tsunami of content to absolutely EVERYBODY in the company. Everyone who’s completed mandatory training knows the struggle, so it’s time we gave L&D the wake-up call it needs…
Here are the common bugbears or questions your employees might be too polite to tell you about.
Our compliance content’s too long and too boring
There’s no sugar coating it, a lot of compliance training is built around boring topics. At the same time, it’s pretty damn important, and there’s a lot to cover. That’s how we end up with incredibly long compliance content.
Research has revealed that 70% of compliance is over 30 minutes long, while people want bitesize content that comes in at the 20-minute mark or under.
Surely this can’t be the best format?
If you’ve ever done of these very long compliance courses, you’ll have probably encountered the ‘click next slide’ format. Wondering if there will ever be an end to the next slides or if this is simply your life now.
It might also be a next video or next recording format, but the point still stands that this repetitive content is not warmly received by learners.
34% say that they only skim-read content or tune out for video and audio. 15% bluntly revealed that they click through without reading or listening to the content.
- Speak to your people and understand the formats that work best for them.
- Recognise that you can achieve consistency while using different content.
Meet HowNow+ 👋 The best learning content in one single subscription
A common misconception is that in order to achieve compliance and consistency everyone has to complete the exact same compliance training course from the exact same provider.
It’s entirely feasible to use video content from one provider and microlearning resources from another. But it’s rarely practical. You’re managing compliance in two different places, with two invoices to pay, two processes to manage and two sets of reports to cobble together.
HowNow+ offers you handpicked resources, for business-critical topics, from expert providers in one single subscription and one single platform. Meaning you can achieve that compliance dream of combining multiple resources with seamless delivery and reporting.
Why am I seeing this? It doesn’t seem relevant
Only 45% of employees feel their company’s compliance training is specific to their team or role. That’s worrying close to half!
Too often, compliance content is rolled out to everyone who *might* be relevant rather than taking the time to work out exactly who it’s relevant for.
And if people are spending time on content with all the issues we’ve discussed above, AND it’s not relevant, learner engagement takes another hammering.
Is this going to help me later? And where can I find it?
When compliance content is relevant, there’s a fair chance people will want to visit it on-demand later on. They might need a refresher, to quickly confirm something or help a colleague clarify a point.
But if they’ve just scrolled through 79 slides of course content, you can’t blame them for being sceptical about whether A) they’ll be able to find it later and B) the format will help solve their problem speedily.
Rule Four: If you’re an L&D admin, make the admin easier for yourself
For too many managers, the compliance process is a painstakingly manual one. They’re keeping a record of who’s completed it, sending reminders to anyone who hasn’t and constantly trying to keep it all updated.
Firstly, that’s not a good use of their time. Secondly, it hardly makes them popular with employees. Too often, blanket reminders are sent to everyone, even people who’ve already completed the training at hand.
And we don’t want you being unpopular or stressed under a mountain of manual work!
Let HowNow manage the manual parts and keep you on top of compliance
Here are a few ways we’ll make compliance a far more efficient and enjoyable process for you:
Automate the reminders
If you set a completion date for a course, we’ll take care of the follow ups for anyone who hasn’t completed it. In the weeks and day running up to it and into the overdue notices for when the deadline’s passed (while notifying you that it’s happened, of course).
Set custom rules for recurring content
Chances are you’ll be completing elements of your compliance training on a recurring basis – most commonly this is a yearly requirement for things like health and safety, anti-money laundering or GDPR.
If that’s the case, simply switch on our recurring course option and set a timeframe for when it needs to be repeated after completion. We’ll take care of the rest, giving you back the time and energy you’d typically spend on recurring compliance content.
Report in real-time
When you are dealing with those crucial compliance topics, it’s incredibly useful if you can understand completion in real-time. That’s what we offer! In-the-moment snapshots of completion rates and the ability to understand who’s still outstanding in a matter of clicks.
Want to see how you can rebuild compliance using HowNow? Book a demo, and we’ll show you how!