Blog Center

Explore the latest stories and insights!

How to Make Compliance Training Effective

Author • Katie Palmer

How to Make Compliance Training Effective

Date: 2021/03/03

Training | 8.2 MIN READ

There’s a great risk to non-compliance. Especially within high-risk industries where employees can be injured or killed. 

Compliance employee training is the obvious solution. But training is meaningless if your employees don’t understand it or can’t absorb the material. This blog post explains how to make your compliance training effective.

What is compliance training?

First, what is compliance? eLearning Industry writes, “Compliance is more than policies. It’s equipping your employees with the right skills and training to handle the complexities of laws and regulations—and do their jobs more safely and efficiently.”

Compliance training educates employees on laws, regulations, and policies. The training is job-specific, and sometimes industry-specific (such as HIPAA for medical fields).

Compliance training is mandatory. Often, the training has deadlines. For example, employees need to receive OSHA compliance training before starting work. Some OSHA standards require periodic annual retraining.

Why is compliance training important?

Compliance training:

  • Teaches employees to avoid death, injury, and illness (OSHA)
  • Upholds morality (HIPAA)
  • Helps employers avoid hefty fines and other legal penalties 

We’ve mentioned OSHA and HIPAA, but here are some other types of compliance training:

  • Sexual harassment training
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Environmental compliance training
  • Compliance specific to the organization

How can you make your compliance training more effective?

Here’s a brief overview of how to make compliance training more effective:

  1. Explain the “why.”
  2. Use simple language.
  3. Learn about your audience.
  4. Create job-specific training.
  5. Shorten the material.
  6. Use social media.
  7. Develop extra training material.

Let’s dive into more detail. 

1. Explain the “why.”

Let’s face it: learning is hard. It takes effort to learn. 

If learners don’t know why the material is essential to know, it’s even harder to pay attention.

As trainers, our job is to make learning easier. Tell your learners why they need to care. Stories can help. Teach your employees what problems non-compliance could cause. Could they get hurt or die? Will they get fired, or face jail time? 

2. Use simple language.

Compliance laws are complicated. Most people don’t understand legal jargon, so copying and pasting excerpts of the law won’t help.

Drop the confusing language. Talk like you speak. Write your training script as if you’re having a conversation with a friend. Everyday language is your best friend. 

3. Learn about your audience.

The language you use varies depending on your audience. To make linguistic decisions, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What level of education does my audience have?
  • What job experience does my audience have?
  • Is this new information for my employees, or do they have background knowledge?

Knowing your audience helps you decide what language to use. If your employees have a high school diploma and limited job experience, make your language easily digestible. In this case, skip the complicated jargon. But if your employees have a Ph.D. and extensive job experience in the field, you’re safe using more complicated, industry-specific jargon.

On the subject of language, know what cultural background your employees have. If many of your employees have the first language of Spanish, provide training in Spanish! 

4. Create job-specific training.

What does an employee need to know concerning their job?

For example, dental Front Desk Employees need to be OSHA trained in Dental Bloodborne Pathogens and Sharps Safety if they clean up equipment. But Front Desk Employees don’t need to learn as much as Dental Hygienists do. Using a learning management system (LMS), you can assign specific training modules out to employees based on their roles. 

Training too generic will have employees sitting through material that doesn’t apply to them. Specific training means employees will pay more attention and learn more relevant material. 

Creating specialized training modules for specific roles will also shorten the modules. Don’t measure success based on screen time—shorter modules improve employees retention. Which leads me to my next tip.

5. Shorten the material.

Compliance training is often too long. A meta-analysis by Abreena Tompkins found that most learners can’t maintain intense focus for more than 15 to 20 minutes without a break.

With eLearning, students can take breaks as needed. Employees can save their results, stop training, and resume training at any time. An LMS also makes it easy to create microlearning training modules. You can read more about the science of why microlearning improves employee retention.

An LMS gives you learning data to help trainers understand what material learners aren’t comprehending. You can use this data to create more short compliance modules. Using an LMS, you can assign training whenever it’s available. 

6. Use social media.

Online compliance training means learners miss out on in-person discussions.

Social media can encourage your employees to have conversations. For example, you can make a private Facebook group for your employees. Social media caters to two learning styles: verbal and interpersonal. Verbal learning happens through reading and writing. Interpersonal learning happens through social interactions.

Especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, employers need to be on the lookout for how to create more social interaction throughout their training modules. To satisfy interpersonal learners, you can also use Zoom or another video chat platform. Ask your employees to discuss the training together, or have them enact real-life work scenarios.

7. Develop extra training material.

Employees might have compliance questions arise while they work. While employees avoid re-watching an entire compliance training, extra compliance material can be helpful.

Here are some ideas:

  • A compliance cheat sheet
  • Answers to common questions
  • Simple checklist
  • Creative infographics and images

On an LMS, all of these materials would be available to your employees on any device with the click of a button. 

Want to try an LMS?

An LMS helps bring your compliance training to the next level. Smart Training has arguably the best LMS on the market, especially for compliance training.

You can create your own training modules easily on our user-friendly system. Or you can choose from hundreds of pre-made compliance training modules, developed by compliance training development experts.

Are you interested in learning more? Schedule a demonstration to speak with a Smart Training Compliance Adviser or learn more about our LMS.


Don’t forget to share this post!

Subscribe to Our Blog

You may also like