Dusting Off Your Crusty Compliance PPT

In 2017, 87% of Learning and Development professionals surveyed indicated that they were planning to “improve” their compliance learning programs. That’s good news. No one is inspired by that 30- or 60-minute, dull-as-dirt, compliance PPT. In fact, learners are so weary of compliance training that they have coined the phrase “compliance fatigue syndrome“. It’s a dangerous concept—one that implies that we should reduce requirements and expectations in order to overcome lethargy.
In this current era of public and reputation-ruining shaming, the cost of ineffective compliance training is far too high for that to be the answer. But it leads to the question, “What constitutes a meaningful improvement in compliance training?”. The answer isn’t a simple facelift.

Compliance training requires 6 key elements to achieve behavior-changing results:

1. Results-Oriented

If your training goals are still centered on course completion numbers or assessing whether the employee knows all the rules, you probably are not achieving your business goals. For example, with the recent Starbuck’s PR fiasco—that is resulting in comprehensive diversity training on May 29th—the issue wasn’t whether all people knew the rules, it was related to one person’s perceived behavior. Measuring or focusing on completions alone would not have resulted in a changed outcome. Rather setting an objective that the course change employee attitude, behavior or company culture would establish, at the outset, a more relevant path in course direction.

2. Motivation

While you can teach all the rules, if your learners don’t walk away motivated to change behavior, apathy wins. Behavior change isn’t easy. Anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking, go on a diet, or start eating better will tell you that it won’t work if you aren’t motivated. Connecting compliance to deeply rooted company culture and values, challenging demotivating beliefs, or using great messaging and storytelling to make the benefits of compliance, and consequences of non-compliance, memorable are just a few of the tactics to integrate.

3. Relevant

The key to relevancy is personalization. That’s it. If it’s not personal, then a large part of your content will be irrelevant to everyone in the audience at some point during the session—then who knows if you will be able to regain their attention for the part that is relevant? To personalize, you need to know your audience(s), allow them to bypass information they already know, tailor content and paths through the content with use-cases and scenarios that are specific to their role.

4. Right Size It

Unless there is no other way the content can be distributed, skip the hour-long lecture. There is enough research to show that no matter how engaging the content, people tune out−especially with the added distraction of cell phones and social media. So set yourself up for success by using digestible chunks of 7-10 minute bits and reinforce it with just-in-time performance support. Microlearning is made for compliance training, and your learners will be grateful.

5. Mix It Up

It’s a great time to be a learning professional. We have so many options available for teaching; video content, online surveys and real-time results, animations. Virtual Reality brings a new opportunity to coach soft-skills and role-play. Mobility provides the opportunity to teach in those few and hard-to-find free moments.

6. Engage

All of this serves to keep your learners engaged. Let’s face it, unengaged people aren’t really learning anything at all.
Is your compliance training as effective as it should be−or are you still dependent on that hand-me-down PPT you inherited the role?