Mention ‘compliance’ and enthusiasm is likely to drain from employees’ faces. Yet whatever sector you operate in, there is some level of compliance required by laws, regulations, standards or other forms of governance.
Compliance is, of course, essential. A forklift driver needs required licences and certification for very good reasons and a company would be negligent if it ignored these and allowed an unqualified employee to drive its vehicles.
Many learning management systems feature compliance management: automatically flagging the expiry of licences and tracking training undertaken that qualifies as continuing personal development. But this will not make employees complete training with enthusiasm or even guarantee that they will pay attention to classes. If they answer enough questions to pass the assessment, you can tick all the required boxes, but they won’t have retained any learning to put into practice.
What use is compliance management beyond box ticking if important learning is not ‘sticky’? Should you focus on employees engaging with the content more than the compliance aspects?
When you use the tools offered by your LMS effectively, you can make both work together.
If the content is interesting, employees won’t realise they’re learning. Use media to bring learning to life by telling stories with which learners can identify. Graphics, video, audio and animations can have more impact than a factsheet telling you what you must not do. Create scenarios and simulations to create an emotional link with content so that learners feel it is relevant to them personally and not just another course they have been made to do.
Gamification and interactivity can also involve employees more. Create a game where employees can score points or win rewards for keeping up to date or training to the highest levels. Make involvement worthwhile for them.
Getting the balance right is essential, as the objective has to be compliance, with engagement the means of achieving it. This requires a complete compliance strategy, as it won’t just happen on its own. Your strategy will help you plan how you will manage compliance through your LMS, establish what content you will develop and deliver, and how you will promote this to your employees.
While more complex than just ticking boxes to prove an employee attended a course (possibly in body, but not in mind), your compliance strategy will also make sure your employees not only take notice of and understand training, but also apply it in the workplace. This will enable your organisation to meet its regulatory and legal objectives and demonstrate best practice, which can only be a benefit for everyone, including your customers and shareholders.