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10 Tips to Run a Successful Compliance Training Program

Senior management, risk, compliance, and HR executives have been struggling with compliance training for years.

Employee training

You know that effective compliance training for employees can be a hard nail to hit just right.

Difficult topics are not sufficiently addressed and linking compliance training to specific outcomes has been hard. While compliance training is necessary, it doesn’t have to be “Ugh! Here we go again, let’s just get through this!”

KnowBe4’s SVP of Learning Innovation, John Just, spearheads the training content strategy and
development for KnowBe4. Before joining KnowBe4, he was in charge of internal training for a global
company with more than 5,000 users and has worked with larger organizations to build and deploy
their compliance content and training programs. Based on his years of experience in the learning and
training industry, John Just shares his top 10 tips and best practices to make delivering compliance
training less painful and more effective for you, your users, and your entire organization.

Check out our handy 10-tips cheat sheet at the end of this whitepaper for a quick reminder of this advice.

  1. Engage a Steering Committee.

    Leverage those who have an interest in compliance within the organization. Instead of doing the same thing each year, open up with brainstorming about what can be done to improve the process and make it less painful and more effective. So many organizations are doing the same compliance routine each year even though they still have a large number of incidents or close calls, not to mention a lot of unhappy employees. Think outside the box and scrap that prior year’s plan. Talk with your colleagues in other organizations in your industry about what they are doing. This time spent engaging about the compliance training plan will have a huge return on investment (ROI) for you and your organization.

  2. Get Leadership Buy-in with Your Plan.

    Bring data, ROI, and risk avoidance to your presentation. While the benefits of compliance training might be obvious to you, you’ll likely need to do your homework and explain it to leadership. Have examples of what non-compliance can do to the organization from the news. Highlight the benefits of your plan and how your organization is going to be different by providing compliance training that is less painful to deliver and more effective.

  3. Recruit a Team of Employees.

    These employees will review and provide feedback on the content and approach that you are attempting to implement. This is a different team than your steering committee. This team would comprise more people and act as a focus group. Ideally, they’d provide an unbiased approach and listen to stakeholders to help improve the approach to compliance training. Don’t just recruit the people who are into compliance either, ask people who complain about the current program to participate and make it better. It only takes a few of these sessions to get valuable feedback to help you make your program more effective.

  4. Balance Buying Versus Building.

    Many organizations feel like they need content either 100% created in-house or 100% created by a provider (or a group of outside providers). The trick is the right mix for those organizations to make it relevant and also provide high production value for the right amount of resources. We spoke with a medical technology company with about 1,000 employees recently that transformed their content to branded content from their provider and used cell phone videos from leaders in the organization explaining the importance of a variety of policies. The feedback was significantly more positive than compared years before when they used either canned content or tried to do it all themselves.

  5. Compliance Content for On-the-Go Users.

    For users on the go, make sure the content gives your users a great experience on mobile. Consider mobile with your content produced in-house and make sure you test content with a group of mobile users in your organization. Providing your users with the option to consume this content on mobile devices will go a long way toward making it less painful for them.

  6. Use Data to Measure.

    Turn on end-user surveys, and comments, and use this data to improve your program. Make them short (3 questions and a comment box) so that you get as many responses as possible. Then analyze the data. You are going to get some venting in the responses, even with the best programs. But some gems and themes will come out that can help you not only improve your compliance training program but also share successes and areas for improvement with organizational leaders.

  7. Offer High-Quality Content.

    Learners hate “death by PowerPoint,” and putting PowerPoint into an e-learning format doesn’t make it any less boring for them. Because employees now have access to such a wide variety of high-quality content in their everyday lives, they expect more from corporate training and communications. We recently spoke with a large
    international bank known for its conservative corporate culture. When they first started their newest compliance training program they used more traditional e-learning with decent effect. They experimented with a different format from that same provider that was more comedy-oriented and featured high video production. People loved it! They got to thank you notes (you read that right, for compliance training!), and their program was far more engaging.

  8. Use a Variety of Content and Formats.

    The use of variety within the training program allows your users to avoid content fatigue. Even really great training can get stale after a while. The ability to mix it up with different formats such as video, self-paced interactive training modules, compliance job aides, digital signage on the organization’s intranet, and examples and case studies can all get great results and make a connection with different types of learners.

  9. Use Gamification.

    Gamifying the experience with teams and managers can make reporting and completions into a competition rather than an administrative task. We spoke with a multinational manufacturer that ran a contest between regions and business units for recognition if they were the first division to reach 100% training completion. Getting the executives to head “teams” that are bought in on competing against each other can also drive this, but your reporting has to be very clear and transparent with frequent updates to these leaders.

  10. Train More Frequently.

    Here we don’t mean more overall training time, but breaking training into smaller pieces and doing it more often. So, for example, maybe you are currently doing compliance training two hours per year in the month of February. Doing monthly training that is 5-15 minutes per month is actually less painful for everyone. We spoke with a large law firm that recently moved to monthly training from a big annual push. They reported that their completion rates are up and complaints about time taken out of their day being down. They said after three months they were seeing the muscle memory of the organization kicking in. Another tip that we learned from them was to coordinate security awareness and compliance training to make this schedule work for everyone.

KnowBe4 has been using these best practices to help customers and other e-learning companies
develop compliance content for years in an effort to make it easier for you to deliver the most effective
compliance training program for your organization. This work led to the launch of Compliance Plus,
a new-school compliance training library that provides interactive, relevant, and engaging content.
The training was created with high production values to keep user engagement high and cover your
organization’s compliance training requirements.

Old-school compliance training has been a continuing challenge for organizations. With Compliance Plus you can finally manage the ongoing problem of employee non-compliance.

See Compliance in Action

About KnowBe4

KnowBe4’s new-school approach to compliance training offers an interactive and engaging experience
with real-life simulated scenarios to help teach employees how to recognize and respond to a challenging
situation. KnowBe4 is the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated
phishing platform, used by tens of thousands of organizations around the globe and offers a variety
of ways to reduce risk in your organization including data privacy and compliance training. With a
worldwide presence, KnowBe4’s platform is used by small, medium, and large enterprises across
all industries, including highly regulated fields such as finance, healthcare, energy, government and
insurance, to mobilize end users for their vital role in minimizing organizational risk.

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