In order for your organization to avoid regulatory issues and violations that may cost you time, money, and your reputation, your employees must adhere to internal policies and external laws and regulations, from HIPAA and employment laws to the GDPR and FedRAMP.
Compliance training ensures that your employees get the knowledge and training they need to complete their day-to-day tasks safely and in line with applicable requirements, which reduces the risk of problems and violations down the road. Let’s dive into what compliance training is, why it’s important, and what your business can do to ensure compliance training success.
What is Compliance Training?
Compliance training is designed to teach employees how to meet the requirements of relevant legal or administrative requirements. These requirements may be imposed by your own policies or external entities like governments or professional associations. The industry you’re in, as well as where you’re located and the types of activities you perform, all play a role in the details of your compliance training.
Compliance training is unique for a couple reasons. Unlike many other types of training, it’s typically mandatory if your organization wants to avoid incurring legal liability and costly penalties. And it’s often time-sensitive: your employees will need to complete it within a certain period of time so they can perform necessary functions.
Done right, compliance training can transform your business. Here are just a few instances of how it can benefit employees across industries.
An HR department locates potential candidates, interviews and hires them, and works hard to ensure they’re satisfied at work. Compliance training for HR employees helps them create and maintain a safe workplace that employees enjoy. Relevant compliance needs may involve workplace safety and violence, substance abuse, and diversity training. Initiatives might also touch on federal employment laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as state unemployment laws.
A construction company’s compliance training program may focus more on standards imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as its employees are at a greater risk for workplace accidents and injuries. It will likely educate workers on topics like personal protective equipment, forklift safety, and fall protection, with the goal of keeping its employees as safe as possible while they’re out in the field.
Healthcare professionals have a wide variety of compliance needs. From marketing to patient interaction to the privacy requirements of HIPAA, every team member needs to be intimately familiar with how they can best carry out their duties while protecting themselves, patients, and the organization as a whole.
Why is Compliance Training So Important?
The primary benefit of compliance training is protection from a variety of consequences, including audits, hefty fines, criminal prosecution, and a damaged reputation. But the importance of compliance training goes far beyond risk management. Here are some significant additional benefits compliance training offers:
- Safety: A workplace in which all employees are compliant is a safe workplace. Compliance training reduces the risk of on-the-job accidents and injuries.
- Knowledge: Employees who undergo compliance training get the information they need to perform their jobs well and efficiently. It levels the playing field, giving all team members the same tools for success.
- Wellness: Compliance training also helps reduce stress caused by job-related difficulties, preventing burnout and other mental health issues.
- Productivity: With a safe workplace and compliant employees, there will be less absences and unnecessary downtime, boosting productivity across your organization. It also keeps all employees on the same page, making daily tasks more efficient.
- Reputation: If you cut corners and fail to live up to your industry’s standards, your reputation will suffer. But if your organization implements compliance training to meet those requirements, customers’ trust in your brand will grow.
- Culture: Practicing compliance training shows that your organization cares about its employees and its image. It helps foster an environment of trust and encourages employees to believe in your company’s values.
Keys to Compliance Training Success
To set your compliance training programs up for success, follow these best practices below.
Understand the Requirements You Must Comply With
In addition to figuring out which industry-specific standards your organization will need to adhere to, you’ll want to consider general business best practices related to customer service standards, conflicts of interest, fair disclosure, and diversity. It’s also a good idea to conduct a risk assessment so you can uncover things like potential operational failures and legal liabilities. Once you do, you’ll be able to prioritize risks and design a relevant compliance training program.
Incorporate a Variety of Learning Methods
You’ll be more likely to keep your employees interested by catering to different learning styles. You may want to implement microlearning, which breaks down topics into their most important parts and concentrates on them one by one. By focusing on small doses of material that learners can get through quickly, it boosts engagement and information retention. Or try blended learning, which pairs face-to-face instruction with online content, delivering the benefits of each.
Focus on Employee Engagement
While compliance training is mandatory, it doesn’t have to be boring. Your compliance training program should be designed to engage your employees. In addition to mixing things up with different learning methods, you can incorporate images, quizzes, and videos to make the learning experience more exciting. You may also want to include completion certificates to help your employees stay motivated.
Involve HR and Leadership
Compliance training and HR go hand in hand. Most of the activities performed by your HR team pertain to laws that relate to hiring workers, protecting their rights, and ensuring a safe workplace. A failure to comply with these requirements will affect every aspect of your business, from its culture to its bottom line.
The leadership team — such as the CEO or President, Vice President, CFO, and other key players — must be involved in compliance training as well. They are the ones who understand the goals and culture of the organization and have the power to make compliance a priority.
Make Compliance Training Accessible
Give your employees the option to access some or all of your compliance training online, so they can complete it when and where works best for them. An online training program with courses that include real-time updates also lowers your chance of missing any changes to relevant regulations. You won’t have to wait for updated handbooks or manually check on resources to ensure your employees have access to the latest training materials.
Use an LMS
A learning management system (LMS) is the simplest way to deliver, track, and administer compliance training. With an LMS, you can automate enrollment using a rules-based system that assigns the right compliance training content to employees. The LMS will then automatically follow up with them through notifications and send you reports on their progress. Learners can access compliance training from anywhere with an internet connection, without a dedicated app or lengthy downloads. It also lets you easily create multimedia content using popular authoring tools or load courses from reputable third party providers.
The tracking capabilities of an LMS are especially useful for compliance training, as you need error-free records of which employees are compliant with which requirements. If the compliance status of a particular employee ever comes into question or must be demonstrated, proof of it is readily accessible through the LMS.
Compliance Training with an LMS
By using an LMS for compliance training, you’ll be able to increase employee engagement and reduce risks. HR Learn is an LMS that includes all the features you need — without charging you for those you don’t — and offers an unparalleled user experience, compatibility with SCORM and xAPI, and multilingual support for over 14 different languages. HireRoad partners with OpenSesame, Go1, and EJ4 as well, so you can enjoy access to a library of thousands of courses to meet all your compliance training needs.
Interested in learning more about how HR Learn can simplify your compliance training efforts? Request a free demo today!