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Online Compliance Training: 6 Pain Points to Overcome

We’re happy to have a guest blog today from Christopher Pappas, founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA and MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict

Online compliance training is like that humdrum neighbor who comes over for dinner. You know you’re going to have to make it through the meal, but it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it. But what if your employees actually got excited about mandatory compliance training? In this article, I’ll highlight the top 6 compliance training hurdles and how to overcome them.

Compliance training is a necessary evil for most employees. They know they need it to meet company standards and avoid costly violations. However, the mere thought of sitting through another compliance course strikes fear… and boredom… into their hearts. But what do your employees really dread about compliance? And how can you break down these barriers to make compliance training engaging or at least tolerable? Here are 6 online compliance training pain points and tips on how to overcome them.

1. One-Size-Fits-All Online Compliance Training

Compliance training is a necessary evil for most employees.

Like seashells, snowflakes and strands of DNA, no two employees are the same. So why create a generic compliance course that doesn’t cater to their needs? Employees are already reluctant to participate. As such, you must seize every opportunity to enhance their motivation. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is targeting their goals and creating personalized online experiences for them. For instance, give users the power to choose which activities they complete and when. You can also assess your employees beforehand to determine how much they know and which compliance modules are necessary. As an example, employees who already know a particular company policy can skip one online training module and move onto the next. This helps to prevent boredom and increase motivation.

2. Boring Subject Matter Translates Into Boring Compliance Training

Let’s be perfectly honest, most compliance topics aren’t exactly riveting. In fact, a majority of your employees would probably describe them as “yawn worthy.” But that doesn’t mean your online compliance course has to follow suit. Dry, dull subject matter CAN be transformed into exciting, engaging courses… by turning them interactive. Multimedia can bring a good dose of entertainment into the mix. For example, serious games focusing on health and safety measures can up the interest level. Employees have the chance to triumph over the enemy while they learn how to clean up a hazardous spill.

3. Failure to Connect With Employees on an Emotional Level

I bet I know what you’re thinking: how can you make compliance online training an emotional experience? The key is using every tool at your disposal to transform the subject matter into a compelling narrative. Stories and real world examples connect with employees on a personal level. Instead of just reading about the topic, they feel for the elearning characters and their struggles. They can relate to the protagonist as he tries to overcome a challenge at work, which fosters an emotional bond. You can make it even more engaging by turning your eLearning story into a training video or online presentation.

4. Doesn’t Tie Into Real World Applications

Compliance is typically mandatory. It is intended to give employees the practical information they need to uphold company standards and adhere to local regulations. However, to achieve the desired outcome, employees must be able to use their knowledge and skills in the workplace. Otherwise, you’ve wasted resources and payroll hours, which impacts your bottom line. Every online training activity and module should tie into real world applications and provide context. For example, simulations and branching scenarios that let them experience the consequences firsthand. These activities mimic real life situations and environments, without the risk. Thus, your organization no longer has to worry about costly compliance violations, because employees have already tackled the task.

5. Cognitive Overload

We’ve all been there. We can feel the yawn coming on and we’re only halfway through the instructor’s speech about company policy. He seems to be reading the manual word-for-word, and our mind feels like it’s about to implode. This is known as informational cognitive overload. It occurs when the brain is barraged by so many facts, stats and discussion points that it simply shuts off.

Fortunately, you can prevent cognitive overwhelm by breaking your course into bite-sized lessons and following a spaced approach. Instead of an hour-long compliance online training seminar, divide it into six 10-minute sessions that focus on a specific topic at a time. Encourage employees to access one compliance online training module a day instead of all in one sitting. Spacing compliance online training allows employees to absorb the information before moving onto the next online training activity. Thus, they retain more data and can actively recall key ideas in the workplace.

6. Employees Underestimate the Value of Their Compliance Online Training

In some instances, employees may not even realize how important compliance online training is and why they must actively participate. As such, it’s the organization’s responsibility to stress the benefits of the online compliance course and assign value to the experience. For example, clarifying how health and safety compliance training can prevent workplace injuries and ensure the well-being of every employee.

Dull subject matter CAN be transformed into exciting, engaging courses.

Certain employees might mistakenly perceive compliance as a form of punishment. They don’t believe it is a necessary part of their job, but an obligation they have to muddle through. You can change this mindset by making it personal and relatable. Use case studies and online demos to show them the right and wrong way to follow corporate compliance protocols. If necessary, enact training contracts for those who underestimate the value of compliance online training and need a personalized plan. This also holds them accountable, which can be a significant motivating factor.

Sure, employees will never compare compliance online training to a day at the beach or a cruise vacation. But you can use this article to make your mandatory compliance online training courses engaging, entertaining and enlightening. Who knows, they might even look forward to the next compliance online training session!

Ready to read more about corporate compliance? Conflict of interest is one of the most crucial areas of corporate compliance training. Read COI Compliance Online Training: 6 Tips For eLearning Professionals for tips on creating effective COI compliance courses.