4 solutions to your compliance training problem

Posted on: March 31, 2022Updated on: June 12, 2023By: JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect

No one likes compliance training

  • Employees are either too busy to do it or they don’t see the value, especially on the frontline. (“What does money laundering have to do with being a grocery cashier anyway?”) 
  • Managers are annoyed when they have to chase people to complete it. (“I just don’t want to end up on ‘the list.’”) 
  • L&D has other priorities they’d rather worry about. (“The new product release isn’t going to wait because we have an annual harassment training program to deploy.”) 
  • Even Compliance often doesn’t like their own compliance training. (“We just have to do it. Sorry, not sorry.”)

Compliance training is a constant in every industry, from financial services and manufacturing to retail and professional sales. No matter how you may feel about it, it’s not going away. Not only is it here to say, but it’s also extremely important. Failure to adhere to regulations, whether they be internal or external, introduces risk to your business. It can also hurt people. Even if it’s hard to see under the mountain of PowerPoint slides covered with 10-point font, there’s a reason training on a compliance topic is required. 

If you can’t avoid compliance training, the only option is to get better at it. Here are 4 proven tactics to help you get value and engagement from your frontline compliance training.

Two men in a loading bay reading a checklist


#1: Break compliance courses down into microlearning topics

Rather than developing a big course that covers a long list of concepts, build short, focused content that covers just two or three related topics. Focus on two factors: how this training is meant to help employees improve their job knowledge/behaviors and how much time employees have to complete training while at work. Combine topics that are used together to make decisions and solve problems. Build training that can fit into the time employees have available. This way, you won’t build a bloated course that requires 40 minutes to complete in one sitting. Instead, you can deploy eight microlearning modules that each take five minutes to do. This approach is much easier to fit into the average frontline shift, and it’s a much better compliance training experience for your employees.

#2: Personalize compliance training delivery

A microlearning approach for compliance will allow you to fit training into the workflow. It will also help you personalize the compliance experience by providing employees with only the content they absolutely need to consume. How much of the information from a 40-minute compliance course does every employee really need? Shorter, focused content can be targeted to employees who need it to improve performance and mitigate workplace risk.

#3: Explain the importance of compliance to your frontline

What has been your impression of compliance training throughout your career? A lot of boring, seemingly irrelevant content, right? The same is true for your frontline employees. Actually, they care about compliance training even less than you do because it’s not part of their job. Don’t just assign training and tell employees they have to do it … because. Communicate the value. Tell them why it’s important and worth their time. Explain how it will help them do their jobs more safely and productively. If the training is just a required check-the-box exercise, be honest and grateful for their effort. 

#4: Automate the compliance process

How much time and capacity does your team spend administering compliance? Build courses. Assign programs. Generate and email reports. Chase overdue employees. Do it all again next year. Automation can dramatically lessen your administrative workload. Automatically monitor compliance requirements and assign training based on each employee’s job profile. Trigger reminders to employees and their managers when training is almost due. Distribute reports to stakeholders on a set schedule. Even content development can be partially automated with artificial intelligence to improve your overall process efficiency. 

Compliance training is a workplace reality. It’s not going away. It’s probably just going to get more complicated. Your only option is to make it work. The right process, content and technology can balance the need to check boxes with helping frontline employees make better decisions on the job. After all, that’s what really mitigates risk in your business.

JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect's Headshot

JD Dillon, Chief Learning Architect

JD Dillon became an expert on frontline training and enablement over two decades working in operations and talent development with dynamic organizations, including Disney, Kaplan and AMC. A respected author and speaker in the workplace learning community, JD also continues to apply his passion for helping frontline employees around the world do their best work every day in his role as Axonify's Chief Learning Architect.

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