We are proud to be a ‘Top Employer’! Now that’s a claim a lot of companies easily make nowadays. You could have a big debate about what being a top employer means. Making the workplace fun and offering a great employee experience for sure, but there are other things to look at as well. More than wanting to offer our employees a ping pong table, free drinks and other fun perks, we should want our employees and customers to be healthy, to offer them a safe workplace and make sure that sensitive data of our customers and employees is treated with the most possible precaution. These things probably matter more than ever in times like these…
Let us for now assume that all leaders out there intrinsically care about employee well-being and devote maximum efforts here. That’s great. But on top of that a lot of them are dealing with legislation and compliance policies imposed from above that require them to report into (often governmental) bodies to prove that compliance standards are met. Think about mandatory check-boxes around health & safety, data privacy or prove of specific employee skills. Enter compliance training!
Compliance training is basically mandatory training enforced by government, or some sector-specific authority, that your people must take. Regulatory training requirements are applicable for banks, car manufacturers, offshore companies and many other industries but typically differ significantly per sector. Sometimes required training content is tied to job titles, in other instances to specific teams, or entire sectors. Common goal however almost always is to ensure safety in the workplace or proper behavior of employees.
As for the entire world of business nowadays, also for compliance regulations goes; they change frequently. Just think about what health and safety measures companies will need to get in place around the current COVID-19 situation when businesses will start to gradually open up. For sure ‘hard-coded’ guidelines will be imposed on different sectors and businesses to control this pandemic. As legislation changes it is up to leadership to ensure that employees are kept up to date with changes and renew their knowledge.
for sure ‘hard-coded’ guidelines will be imposed on different sectors and businesses to control this pandemic.
Learning & Development professionals know that a mature learning system (LMS) and a catalogue of continuously evolving learning content (that in a lot of cases is very specific and often created in house) are essential building blocks here. But besides those, learning compliance always involves deadlines for metrics signalling that employees meet the requirements in place and that the organisation is in control going forward. A big one here is the course completion rate. Completion, in this context, is the meeting of the required standards, e.g. pass a test, complete a 3-hour course, attend a classroom, etc. But also, insights around when certifications expire are important. Are we still meeting compliance standards 6 months down the road? Or do we need to step up now? And then there is the required reporting format at hand. A lot of regulatory reports are required to be offered in specific formats and audit trails need to be maintained. Of course, these tend to change every now and then as well. Put short; it’s fair to say that compliance training is known to trigger a bit of a headache sometimes…
But let’s zoom out and simplify the matter. There are four things L&D leaders should tackle to run smart compliance learning programmes:
- Fully understand the criteria. Identify the legislation or regulation that your company needs to satisfy. Understand what learning objectives and regulatory requirements are at play in your business and what stakeholders expect to be updated.
- Implement a mature Learning Management Platform to automate learning processes within your organisation. Look learning industry leaders with a track record in the compliance domain like Cornerstone OnDemand.
- Get content creation on the road. Within some sectors highly specialized content providers are active, in other cases you need to custom design your compliance training content. Offer engaging content in bite-sized pieces (micro learnings)
- Ensure meaningful evidence of compliance, aka Learning compliance analytics. This is proving that training has been consumed, certificates are awarded and shows future compliance conditions.
Looking specifically at the reporting part of compliance; often the learning management system does not deliver on all reporting functionality and report formats required. Mostly reporting for both internal board members and external watchdogs is done outside of the learning platform and needs cumbersome and time-consuming reporting work.
it’s fair to say that compliance training is known to trigger a bit of a headache sometimes…
To address this Cloudwatch developed a super flexible learning dashboard on Microsoft PowerBI. This reporting solution is fully integrated with the Cornerstone OnDemand Learning platform and by default holds the most relevant learning compliance kpi’s. It allows L&D specialists to compose every imaginable compliance report, whatever view or pivot by just some drag and drops. More information on this solution is available in this product sheet.
So, compliance training… not the most captivating topic maybe. However, I think everybody knows that we will see more of this in our L&D businesses over the next period in which we will all learn what the new standards in our workplace will be. Let’s piece it together now that we have the opportunity. After all, it is like poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it; ‘It takes less time to do things right, then to explain why you did it wrong’.
Jochem is founder of Cloudwatch, an Amsterdam based independent HR Tech firm. Cloudwatch helps HR teams to get the best out of their HR systems and develops custom HR dashboards combining every possible HR data point.