How to revolutionise compliance for your employees

Posted on Nov 30, 2017

Organisations are investing more heavily in compliance training than ever before. The only problem is, it isn’t working.

The Towards Maturity Solving the Compliance Conundrum report published in 2017 presented some big statistics:

  • 98% of senior managers are committed to compliance
  • 81% of the workforce are involved in compliance training each year
  • 42% of all online training content is compliance-related


Data protection and privacy have overtaken code of conduct as the number one perceived threat. Health and safety is third and equality and diversity is fourth. Other growing concerns are financial crime and cyber crime.

Yet despite the investment in compliance training, it’s failing to change behaviours. According to the study, of those organisations measuring behaviour change post-training, only 27% are succeeding.

As organisations focus on the enormity of today’s compliance issues, and the need to meet regulatory requirements, they’ve unfortunately got the balance way off kilter. They’ve lost sight of the role of the individual. For compliance training to be truly successful, each employee needs to be engaged with it, understand it, and be taught how to apply it to their day-to-day role.

The needs of the regulators must be balanced with the needs of the business, and of each individual learner.

It’s time to get personal

The sheer scale of rolling out compliance training to entire workforces has in many cases led to a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The focus is on scale, with little thought to the needs of the individual, or the organisational culture, so the learning is being delivered to everyone in the exact same way.

The Towards Maturity report points out that this should not be a choice between scale and individual. The challenge is to deliver training that’s individualised and to scale.

But that’s not the only challenge. Employees still report being bored by relentlessly dull and irrelevant compliance training that they must do each year. Here are some more stats from the report:

  • 60% of organisations say learner engagement is a barrier
  • 40% find staff reluctant to repeat compliance training year on year


And this is what employees say about their compliance training:

  • Only 66% feel their online learning is relevant to their role
  • 35% label the content uninspiring


However, the report goes on to show that compliance training results are much better when the learning is adaptive and where it emphasises user experience and engagement.

Adaptive learning

Adaptive learning builds on personalised learning. The design of personalised learning is based on each individual’s workplace circumstances such as location, department, responsibilities, function and knowledge levels, as measured in a baseline test. It’s 100% relevant.

Adaptive learning adds another layer. Using data-driven algorithms, it evaluates the learner’s progress while they’re doing the learning. It can then adapt the learning path and feedback accordingly by identifying and plugging gaps.

Towards Maturity refers to adaptive learning’s “strong statistical relationship with delivering personalisation and taking a programme to scale” because the learner is no longer “a passive recipient”. They are helping to steer their own learning to maximise its effectiveness and relevance.

"The focus is on scale, with little thought to the needs of the individual, or the organisational culture, so the learning is being delivered to everyone in the exact same way."

User experience and engagement

We all know that compliance training is in desperate need of some TLC. Dull doesn’t work, so let’s ditch it. 

Learning design that is creative and focused on measurable behaviour change, will provide a more positive and engaging experience. It will also provide greater levels of success, because employees will not just be completing the training, but will be able to recall it at their point of need within the workplace.

To be effectively compliant and as safe as possible, organisations need to focus on what their people need as individuals.

We’ll leave you with this:

"An empowered organisation is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organisational success."Dr Stephen Covey, business and leadership guru.

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