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The Best Tips for Creating a Successful Compliance Training Program

It is not uncommon for organizations to struggle with creating a strong compliance training program.  All too often, compliance training is looked at like a box that needs to be checked- something that just has to be done.  Not to mention, compliance training is often dreaded by employees everywhere.  Do you worry your compliance training has grown mundane?  Chances are, you wish you could effectively impact prevailing attitudes and behaviors, but you’re just not sure how.

Compliance training, if done correctly, creates a strategic advantage that minimizes operational and financial risk.  Leaders responsible for compliance within an organization need no justification for investing in better compliance training programs (Panopto.com).  Success is measured not only by things that happen, but what doesn’t happen – including fines, lawsuits, reputation damage, dangerous incidents, lost business, and more.  In some cases, noncompliance with safety procedures can be the difference between life and death.

Building an effective compliance training program doesn’t have to be a difficult task.  In order to achieve the main goals of reducing risk and expanding employee learning retention, you want your materials to be purposeful and impactful.  Know what best practices exist and what to look for before selecting a program to use with your staff.

There are certain elements that if put in place, can help ensure a compliance training program is successful.  The first one to examine is retention, which is best understood when looking at the Learning Pyramid.  Studies show that varying your study methods and materials will improve retention and recall of information, and enhance the learning experience. The “learning pyramid,” developed by the National Training Laboratory, suggests that most students only remember about 10% of what they read from textbooks, but retain nearly 90% of what they learn through teaching others. The Learning Pyramid model suggests that some methods of study are more effective than others and that varying study methods will lead to deeper learning and long-term retention (educationcorner.com).

One example of an effective method of learning and study is “Practice by Doing.”  This method of study encourages students to take what they learn and put it into practice, therefore promoting deeper understanding while moving information from short-term to long-term memory. Practice by doing makes material more personal, and ultimately more meaningful to students. This also leads to more in-depth understanding of material, greater retention, and better recall.

The next element to examine in creating a successful compliance training program is creativity.  With each training, you want to be creative with the subject – regardless if the training is in-person or online.  An example would be to include relevant case studies within the training, or regulatory actions that best suit the department or group of people you are teaching.

Using creativity helps foster interactivity.  It’s imperative to engage your audience and make them feel a part of the training. Exercises that incorporate real-world examples are crucial for employees to partake in.

Another consideration in a solid training plan is to create efficiency (ethinkeducation.com).  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind while making efforts efficient:

  • Budget.  Always ask for more funds than needed.  During the year, the training plan will change, and you might be asked to add more initiatives due to regulatory changes, updated policies and procedures, new services offered, new systems, and management mandates.
  • Exclusivity.  Review all the training entries to determine if there are any overlap of topics between departments.  It’s great to train more than one department at a time if there is a workflow that impacts multiple areas.  It’s also good for the fostering of relationships between departments.
  • Time-saving.  The goal is also to save time since you are taking staff members away from their actual work.  If you’re able to produce training that covers multiple, related topics, your audience will appreciate it.
  • Avoid overtraining.  Determine which topics as a percentage of the training plan are included.  It’s important to check if there are any concentrations that may lead to overtraining (ethinkeducation.com).

Creating a successful compliance training program is not a difficult task, but it must be done right and with due diligence for it to be effective.  When training is done correctly, fines and risks within the workplace are reduced, and employees have a chance to actually be engaged with the material rather than merely talked at.  HWNY has a variety of successful online training programs to fit the needs of your organization – contact us today for more information!


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