You hope to persuade people to pay attention – you hope to persuade them to change their behaviour – but sometimes your compliance-based learning doesn’t even make a ripple, let alone a splash. Is your learning just a billboard in a forest? Not really seen, and certainly not heard?
Article no. 8 of 10 - The Kineo view on: Compliance elearning
We've all been there. 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 initiatives. Employers put all the effort into creating it, but it isn’t always clear to learners why they have to do it. At worst, it feels like a tick box exercise. Then there are no follow-up activities to support the knowledge transfer. The learning is stuck in the screen, and there's no behaviour change. What's the point?
It doesn't have to be this way. By taking a campaign-based approach to marketing your learning experiences and seeing that journey through after the event, you can make a huge difference to learner engagement and learning retention.
Think like a marketeer
We’ve been saying for a long time that the lines between learning and marketing are blurred. Campaigns aren’t just for ad agencies. We have a lot to learn from them about how to attract attention. You want results where learners absorb and apply the knowledge they have gained, don’t you? (Of course, you do – otherwise why bother with your compliance initiative in the first place?).
You need a learning campaign with consistent communication in the form of videos, emails, face-to-face meetings, webinars, posters, awards and 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.
The British Transport Police took a similar tack with:
“See it. Say it. Sorted.”
Your compliance experiences and resources are trying to say something similar. But there’s no point just hiding the message there and following up with a multiple-choice test. For maximum engagement and debate, put the message in several places, perhaps even where it’s not expected. Be relentless and pervasive.
What kind of compliance communication campaign could you design? Where are the places – virtual and physical – in your company where you can deliver a key message? Find them and own them.
Don’t set it and forget it
Compliance is a 365-day a year problem, yet compliance-based learning is often concentrated over one or two periods a year. This can be onerous for your learners (and result in cognitive overload), and it also increases the risk of the key messages being forgotten at other times of the year.
As well as thinking about a more balanced schedule for your compliance-based learning, you can keep learning alive twelve months of the year using mixed media campaigns and spaced learning techniques.
After the learning is complete – and let’s face it, learning is never complete – don’t just leave all the good work festering on the learning platform. Continue to make available just-in-time performance support resources, discuss issues in communities, and send out little nudges of information with key updates when they occur.
But be wary not to information dump. A learning experience, if done well, can be very impactful. Think about a child who burns their finger on a hot stove – will they do that again? No. Of course we’re not advocating hurting your learners to get your message across, but you get the point! Focus your efforts on the main experience, on making that stick, because you don’t want to dilute the message of that by saturating learners with an overload of information. The key, as we’ve mentioned a few times now, is to talk to your end learners and get fully under the skin of what they want and need. Only then can you deliver the right learning journey for them.
Use a campaign model
Take a leaf out of marketeers’ books. Your content should draw on what makes successful marketing projects great, like those run by blue chip companies. Draw people to and through the learning with high-engagement and creative approaches. Here’s a simple model to follow:
At each stage of the journey we are changing the position of our audience from strangers to visitors to learners to advocates i.e. we start by raising awareness and then move to a position where learners are applying and advocating the behaviours we are aiming for. This requires a layered approach, using different methods and channels through each part of the process to change the perceptions of the learner. Your campaign can be spaced out using a campaign timeline, here’s a high-level example.
Marketing campaigns also take a multi-pronged attack, using multiple channels and techniques to get to their audience. People use multiple channels, in multiple contexts, in a range of ways.
It’s not about packaging up some small learning resources and tweeting about them or having a webinar a month down the line, it’s about using the methods you see around you and exposing employees to the resource via the channels they use daily. Every organisation has a range of channels that can be used here.
You want your learning resources to stand out as something different from the rest of the communication that is happening in your organisation, they need to exceed expectations and genuinely compel your audience. And of course, they need to work. They need to be:
- Action orientated
Here are some examples we’ve designed for specific campaigns supporting compliance topics.
Social media ads
Documentary or expert led films
See anything that sparks your imagination? Why not get
creative and start devising your own ideas? Don’t hold back. A strong,
compelling theme will help to cement key messages in the minds of your
learners, as well as create memory ‘anchors’ that they can attach concepts to
and be more likely to draw on in the long-term.
Check out the next article in this series: Data driven design, to continue exploring The Kineo view on: Compliance elearning.
If you want to know more about how we create better learning experiences for compliance-based learning, drop us a line to book a free consultation with one of our learning experts.
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