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Effective Compliance Training: Practical and Personal

Think to yourself: “What’s the biggest risk my company’s facing today?” Chances are most of the “worst case scenarios” for your company’s performance could be devastating to your workforce, investors, or revenue. But, as important as we consider all of our work, hazards to health and safety might not be constant concerns your businesses.

Compliance training is important because the risks involved when employees and companies don’t measure up to internal or external standards are about much more than a company’s bottom line. In many industries, employees overlooking their compliance requirements could have serious consequences for others or themselves.

When it comes to training and development, AllenComm understands those stakes and has partnered with companies in fields like medicine, science, and public utilities to provide compliance training that focuses on the individual to ensure a safe, regulated environment.

Compliance Training Case Study

One of those companies was HSS, Inc., an organization specializing in physical security and workplace violence prevention. In this case, the focus was on a hospital setting, where there is a risk that patients can become aggressive and hospital staff could find themselves in harm’s way. HSS, Inc. had a goal to increase employee’s abilities to deescalate situations, boost their confidence in difficult conflicts, and increase employee retention.

Meeting Challenges in Training

AllenComm developed five training modules with those goals in mind. There were immediate problems that the compliance training needed to overcome.

First, the hospital staff was large and varied. There were nurses and doctors, often in patients’ rooms the most and, therefore, the most at risk. But, learners were also comprised of receptionists, housekeeping staff, cafeteria staff, and security personnel, too. The training needed to meet all of their diverse perspectives.

Second, hospital staff are already stressed and exhausted from their high-demand job, and the training needed to be flexible and bite-sized for their busy schedules.

Practice Before It Matters

Because failure with an aggressive patient has serious risk, learners needed to develop the skills in a safe environment where they could practice, fail, and learn without real consequences.

AllenComm created rich media with interviews of hospital staff sharing their personal stories of aggressive behavior and efforts to deescalate it. These stories were complimented with short, dramatized scenarios based on actual events. But, instead of being a video that learners viewed passively, it was an interactive narrative. Learners would watch a piece of the video, choose how to respond, and then saw how their response could play out. It gave learners an opportunity to practice and fail before they were presented with a difficult situation on the job. These personal experiences and micro-learning activities engaged learners from different job backgrounds at their own pace and interest.

Focusing on People

At the heart of the course’s aims, though, was to create more teamwork and empathy in the hospital staff. Since the environment working in a hospital can literally be life-or-death, hospital staff are stressed and believe aggressive patients are just part of the job. It was also found that many staff members focused on their own job and were less willing to step in to help coworkers with aggressive patients. Because of this apathy, learners were encouraged to consider their coworkers’ needs more. As they deescalated situations together, the staff would experience extra confidence to find solutions to difficult confrontations as a team. This was accomplished partly through providing a pre-assessment quiz and a post-assessment quiz that highlighted learners’ attitudes toward helping their coworkers.

Learners were also encouraged to consider the aggressive patients’ points of view. Learning modules guided the staff through possible scenarios and how they might redirect the building aggression away from escalation and into more productive communication. Often, a patient expressing why they were feeling the way they were was the key to finding a calm resolution.

Finally, learners were made aware of the resources available during and after training if their own efforts were not enough to deescalate a patient. The staff knew when and how to contact security to minimize danger to themselves or others.

HSS, Inc.’s hope was that this training would leave staff better equipped to recognize and resolve conflict early. And, as the staff implemented these practices, there would be fewer preventable injuries in hospitals and a more confident staff, all leading to more retention in the workplace.

AllenComm was proud to play their part in creating the platform that HSS, Inc. carried to hospitals in need of this training, one of the many instances in which more effective learning in compliance training literally helps the lives of employees.