Compliance training. It’s a word that almost everyone in your organization dreads because it feels like it’s just another box to check. But it doesn’t have to be. Many times, companies look to a generic turn-key eLearning solution for mandatory compliance training, but there are better options. Ones that will make your employees want to take your courses.
Here are 11 ways to make your compliance training more exciting and keep your employees engaged in learning.
1 Use Storytelling
There’s a reason why your employees need compliance training, and oftentimes it’s a good one. Your employees need to understand how your compliance training helps them. It’s the “what’s in it for me” that helps get your learners engaged. Storytelling can be done by sharing real-life examples or using thoughtful, likely to occur fictious stories.
For example, in your HIPAA compliance course, you could include a story or two from patients who have had their medical information shared with an unauthorized person and how it has impacted their lives. You could also share stories from employees who have unintentionally violated HIPAA standards and how it has negatively affected them and their organization. The idea is to give your employees a look at the real-world consequences that can happen.
2 Keep it Relevant
One of your employees’ main concerns about compliance training is probably that it takes away from their actual job. They’ve also likely taken the training (or some form of it) before and know a lot of the information. Keep your compliance training focused on information that is relevant to them.
For example, for a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Packaging and Labeling course, you will have learners with varying experience levels. The information that someone who is new to the industry needs to know is far different than the information that a professional with decades of industry experience does.
Your training should allow for the learner to select their role or experience level and receive content tailored to their prior knowledge. It is also a good idea to consider a test out option to move to the next level. This helps ensure your employees will be challenged and stay engaged.
3 Use Real-World Simulations
One of the best tactics you can use in your compliance training is putting your employee in the driver’s seat. Set them up with a situation they may encounter in their everyday job and ask them how they would handle it. Based on their response, they would see the impact of their decisions. This type of interaction keeps your employees engaged and helps them better understand how what they are learning applies to their day-to-day work.
For instance, rather than having your employees listen to a narrator read a slide about the First-In/First-Out (FIFO) GMP procedures, why not let them experience how it applies to the real world? Some ways to do this are having them virtually stock new product containers or completing an inventory record. By providing instant feedback, your employees can learn from their mistakes and will better understand the proper procedures.
4 Keep Language as Simple as Possible
Even with the most well-thought-out compliance training, the materials can get dull if the narrator draws on and on. Try to use everyday language that your employees will relate to and active rather than passive phrases.
For example, instead of saying “Non-compliance with PSQIA can result in financial penalties for the company.” simply say “If we aren’t in compliance with the PSQIA, we can be fined.” This makes it easier for your learner to understand your content by reducing cognitive load and helps ensure they don’t tune out information.
5 Vary Your Delivery Modes
When you’re creating your compliance training, try to use several different delivery modes. For example, if you are preliminary using videos, break it up with a game or real-world simulation. If you are using simulations, don’t overdo it. Varying the types of content you use will help ensure your employees don’t get bored.
6 Create Bit-Sized Modules
One of the biggest challenges we face when creating compliance training is the amount of information employees need to know. For instance, a 2-hour course on informed consent can be overwhelming and easy to tune out. But breaking down the information into digestible modules helps keep your employees focused.
After 10 minutes, you will begin to lose your learners’ attention. Shorter, spaced out modules will help them absorb and retain information. They are also more likely to complete the courses before the deadline because they can fit them into their schedule more easily.
7 Use Gamification
Gamification of eLearning modules is a hot trend, and for good reason. Gamification creates an immersive learning experience and keeps your employees engaged. When done correctly, it also increases knowledge retention and on-the-job application.
An easy way to incorporate games into your compliance training is to use a Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune style assessment or quiz. This makes it much more exciting for your employees. You can even create a leaderboard or award badges to add a social element to your course to make it more exciting.
8 Add Pulse Surveys
Pulse surveys are becoming a popular way to check in with employees and get feedback. They can also be used to make eLearning courses more exciting. Pulse surveys allow you flexibility and can be incorporated before, during, and after your training. You can use them beforehand to determine what learners already know and what they are most interested in learning and after to gauge how well they have retained knowledge.
You can also use pulse surveys during the course to make the course more exciting by providing a quick check in. You could even allow your employees to “vote” on whether or not a character handled a situation properly. Real-time results would be provided and employees can learn from each other rather than the computer.
9 Allow Choices
To get learners engaged and excited about your compliance training, they need to feel in control. Providing choices helps do that. One way you can offer choices is by allowing your employees to select a character to represent them in the eLearning. By offering a diverse set of characters to choose from, your employee can select one that fits them best. In turn, they will feel more connected to the materials they are learning.
Another way to offer choices is by letting your employees select which parts of the course they want to complete first. This works particularly well if you are using smaller, bite-sized modules, but you can also do this with longer courses.
For instance, rather than having a set structure for your HIPPA training, you could let your employees choose which modules to complete first. Maybe they already know quite a bit about HIPPA privacy practices, but not so much about physical safeguards. Giving them choices helps your employees stay engaged and feel in control.
10 Turn to Social Media
There is no questioning the value social media can bring to employee training. Social learning helps your employees connect, engage, and learn from their peers. From popular social media platforms like Facebook to internal social networks via SharePoint, there are many cost-effective options you can use.
For example, you could have a private Facebook group set up where employees could discuss scenarios from your GMP training and share their personal experiences and challenges. You could also have a facilitator pose new situations or questions to employees. This type of informal learning lets your employees learn from each other and helps reinforce what they’ve learned in the training.
11 Build Excitement Beforehand
Even companies with the best compliance training will struggle to get employees to engage and complete it if they don’t have buy-in. That’s why it’s so important to build excitement for your compliance training before it goes live. If you’ve recently updated your course, mention it at your staff meetings or post an intranet article so that your employees know this isn’t the same course they’ve taken before.
You can also build excitement by creating a team competition. To do this, you could track team completion percentages or have a contest to see which team gets 100% completion first on various topics like HIPPA or the PSQIA. Team competitions like this build excitement and can make your employees more engaged in what they are learning, especially if a real prize is offered to the champions.
How to Make Your Compliance Training Exciting
Compliance training doesn’t have to be boring. By using any (or all) of these 11 strategies, you can make your compliance training exciting and engaging. In turn, your employees will be more likely to complete the courses before the deadline and they will retain more information. This will in turn help keep your company in compliance with agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
To get started, take a look at your current compliance courses and see how well they incorporate the strategies discussed in this article.
Are your courses interactive and digestible? Is the information easy to understand and presented using a variety of delivery modes?
Think about whether or not your employees relate to the content and whether you would be excited to take it.
Shankar has been in the services industry for the past 20 years with extensive experience in Marketing, Advertising and IT Professional Services. Shankar joined Ideaon in 2007 and has been instrumental in leveraging Ideaon’s capabilities and channelizing them into unique customer value to our clients. He has extensive experience in setting up offshore delivery centers and processes for many companies.