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What Is Compliance Training Fatigue And How Can You Treat It?

This article was written by the eLearning Industry founder, Christopher Pappas.

Compliance training fatigue is impacting employee engagement levels across organizations and putting them at risk of non-compliance. This article explores the phenomenon of compliance training fatigue and some training development best practices to combat it.

Optimizing Compliance Training To Deal With Fatigue

Compliance training is a necessary part of an organization’s operations. It ensures a safe and ethical workplace that complies with industry and legal requirements. However, despite its great importance, it’s not something that employees are looking forward to for various reasons. Compliance courses are often a little dry, and the fact that they are mandatory is certainly not helpful. In this article, we discuss how compliance training fatigue negatively affects an organization and its workforce, as well as some best practices to create a more engaging and fun compliance learning experience. 

What Is Compliance Training Fatigue And How Is It Harming Your Business?

Compliance training fatigue is what happens when employees get overwhelmed by the growing pressure to complete repetitive, lengthy, or overly complex compliance training courses. Its most common symptoms include employee disengagement, decreased retention and implementation of course knowledge, and, most notably, an aversion to compliance training specifically or Learning and Development in general.

As one would expect, this can cause numerous problems in an organization, both for employees as well as the organization as a whole. For one, compliance courses that fail to engage employees and achieve knowledge retention and implementation lead to non-compliance and on-the-job mistakes. Although these mistakes often slip under the radar, they can sometimes result in hefty fines, legal implications, data breaches, or unsafe working conditions. Apart from the financial damage that these can cause, they may also seriously impact an organization’s reputation and credibility, leaving them exposed to their clients and competitors. In the long term, compliance training fatigue can decrease productivity and impede an organization from scaling up and innovating.

Roots Of The Problem

To address the problem of compliance fatigue, you need to understand the factors that contribute to it. Organizations repeatedly present their employees with the same compliance content, making each session increasingly dull. Not to mention that courses are often too lengthy to fit into employees’ busy schedules. Another critical issue is that compliance training focuses more on short-term knowledge and easy completion than behavioral change and long-term implementation. They are created to check compliance boxes instead of addressing employee needs and preferences. Lastly, organizations let budget concerns hinder their efforts to foster a compliance culture, which would actually help them save resources in the long run.

6 Tips To Design An Engaging Compliance LX That Combats Fatigue

Mitigating the impact of compliance training fatigue is essential for businesses that want to stay successful and compliant. Here are six best practices you can follow to optimize your organization’s compliance learning experience and increase learner engagement. 

1. Provide Bite-Sized Content

Employees have busy schedules and, more often than not, compliance training requires them to devote at least a few hours of their day. On top of that, attention spans are growing shorter, which means that your staff couldn’t sit through an hour-long course even if they wanted to. The solution to this issue lies in making training content brief and concise. Break up long modules into shorter segments that can be completed in a few minutes. Additionally, keep your word count to a minimum so as not to overwhelm employees and keep the training process pleasant and easy-flowing.

2. Make It Interactive

Although the actual content of compliance training is often on the drier side, the same doesn’t have to apply to the way it is delivered. Creating an interactive learning environment will lead to significantly better results compared to a static presentation, even if the content isn’t that much different. There are various ways to make compliance training more interactive, from incorporating quizzes and branching scenarios to leveraging gamification. Such elements engage employees in the learning process and motivate them to keep coming back to complete modules.

3. Utilize Different Formats

You will have a better chance of beating compliance training fatigue if you distance yourself from a one-size-fits-all approach. Not all employees work the same, so it only makes sense that they also don’t learn the same way. Therefore, it’s best to utilize various content formats, such as text, images, videos, or even games, to accommodate different learning preferences, which might even depend on an employee’s role or department. Offering them some variety will empower them and give them some freedom of choice in the context of this mandatory process.

4. Link Compliance Training To Real Life

One of the reasons that compliance training is not appreciated among staffers is that it can feel irrelevant to their daily work. This may be happening because you’re not utilizing real-life examples effectively to demonstrate how compliance directly impacts them. For example, you can create scenarios that resemble real-life situations and let employees explore different choices and their potential outcomes, whether positive or negative. This will make the learning process much more engaging and help employees understand how non-compliance can affect them in a safe and consequence-free environment.

5. Personalize Learning

It’s not necessary nor advisable for every employee within an organization to undergo the same compliance training. Many reasons could prompt you to personalize the learning process, such as an employee’s specific role and skill level. For instance, experienced and new employees may require different courses to prevent repetition and disengagement. Additionally, employees must be able to select training modules in different formats or follow a completion schedule that aligns with their schedule. Finally, remember to offer personalized feedback, providing quizzes at the end of the process to assess each employee’s understanding and decide whether they need additional material.

6. Keep Content Up To Date

Compliance training cannot be a one-and-done event. In order to meet legal and industry requirements, you will probably have to conduct compliance training multiple times throughout the year, with many certifications needing to be renewed annually. With that in mind, it’s essential that you regularly update your compliance training content. Laws change, as do job descriptions, organizational processes, and industry trends. Keep an eye on your content from time to time and make the necessary updates and adjustments so that you’re not only compliant but also keeping your employees engaged with new and useful information.

Conclusion

Implementing a successful compliance training strategy is crucial for all organizations that want to maintain a productive and successful workforce. Failing to do so can result in compliance training fatigue and, in turn, reduced efficiency, an underdeveloped Learning and Development culture, as well as financial and legal troubles. In this article, we looked into the root causes of this problem as well as some strategies you can use to maximize employee engagement during compliance training and safeguard your company’s success and reputation. 

Helpful Links 

AllenComm has helped multiple businesses develop and implement successful compliance training programs and achieve behavioral changes across the organization. Read the following case studies to explore how they made it happen: