We've all been here. We take a course because we have to. We go through the motions and then that's it. Nothing transfers into our day-to-day lives. This is a common challenge for compliance training. Employers put all the effort into getting people to take compliance modules – but then there are no follow-up activities to support the knowledge transfer. The learning is stuck in the screen, and there's no behavior change. What's the point?
It doesn't have to be this way. Recently we were asked in the comments section of one of our surveys: How can compliance courses engage employees with material that will enable them to practice and use what they have learned outside elearning?
We got some great responses which we’ve curated here.
Here are five ways to make your compliance learning go beyond the screen:
1. Market your learning
Campaigns aren't just for ad agencies. You’ve heard us say this before. You want results where learners actually absorb and apply the knowledge they have gained? (Of course you do – otherwise why train anyone?) Then you need a learning campaign with consistent communication in the form of videos, emails, face-to-face meetings, webinars, posters, awards & incentives, podcasts, infographics, 'lunch & learns', leadership endorsements, newsletters, memorable taglines and stories. You can get creative! Use a variety of channels to get your message out.
Here's a good example of an effective message as part of a campaign:
"If you see something, say something."
The U.S. Homeland Security Department developed a great tagline that is seen on posters and announced at train stations and airports. This simple statement says it all and implies that we should do something -- to trust our instincts if something seems 'off'. It encourages individuals to look out for the safety of others.
Your compliance elearning is trying to say something similar. But the Department didn’t put it in an elearning module and ask the American people to pass a test. They put the message everywhere. TV, subways, billboards. They were relentless and pervasive. And as the Mad Men will tell you, that’s the only way to get a message across. Could you develop something similar for your compliance communication campaign? Where are the places – virtual and physical – in your company where you can deliver a key message? Find them and own them.
2. Device-proof it
You can’t build a compliance campaign for just one channel. If your elearning is stuck in desktop format, you're limiting your reach. It might be time to think about making it friendly for multiple devices. Limiting it to one device is limiting exposure to content. Make accessing resources convenient and seamless to learners, so they can take courses everywhere, from the airport to their daily commute to the waiting room. Give your employees that flexibility. For compliance elearning where a quick refresh is often necessary, this adds a lot of value. If there has to be a quick refresher, deliver it on demand so people can weave it into their lives.
It also makes feedback more possible. We use our devices to read articles, engage in discussions, research potential purchases, Tweet and Instagram. If you want feedback and engagement devices help you get there, so making your learning responsive and mobile will make it easier for employees to stay up-to-date and engaged.
There are tons of creative ways you can make your learning solution mobile friendly from apps and games to short videos and gifs.
Not convinced? Take a look at Buzzfeed. Their 'listicles' capture attention and make for a fun, quick read. This isn’t about trivializing a subject like compliance, but it shows how a humorous article can get to the core of a subject like inappropriate social sharing.
Could you incorporate something similar into your communication campaign? Something bite-sized and easy-to-absorb in a quick timeframe?
3. Make it shorter and stand-alone
We're busy and constantly on-the-go. One of the biggest challenges with compliance training is the way it is delivered. So often, employees feel chained to their desks with lengthy, mind-numbing content and all they can think about is, "When will this be over?" You’ve lost people before you start.
Be mindful of your employees and give them learning that's in bite-sized components. Deliver engaging activities they can complete between meetings and other deliverables. They will get more out of each module and recall key messages with sharper clarity. It will also make you more intentional about the content you wish to share. Our work on a compliance suite with a global entertainment client followed this approach. The campaign included videos, posters, short learning modules and PDF information – moving far away from the notion of a single linear course. It fits better into knowledge workers’ lives.
4. Use more channels for viewing and sharing
Using multiple channels for delivery will help move beyond the screen. Blend multiple touch points, including video, audio, webinars, face-to-face sessions, team events and action learning.
Seeing and doing are two different things. Give your employees opportunities to apply and discuss what they have learned and discuss with peers and managers. Create a culture that emphasizes sharing and encourages transparency.
5. Reality TV, anyone?
Spoiler alert! Compliance situations can be really interesting. Create some drama and narrative around your compliance stories. For some clients, we've created some cliffhanger moments around what will happen next in the e-learning, extending life of the learning experience and driving up engagement.
And of course, it's consequences that get attention. Everyone remembers the horror stories. Horror stories also make content more memorable. Just remember, nothing’s more horrifying than wasting people’s time with overblown stories that aren’t relevant to their lives. Make sure the consequences and scenarios you share are realistic and relevant. Otherwise your credibility will be lost and employees will begin to tune out.
Get your compliance up to scratch
If you want to improve your compliance and want to go beyond these five tips, we've put together a handy guide talking about how blended learning can also impact your compliance training delivery. It also features best-in-class examples of how blended compliance approaches are working for some of our clients.
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