Many employees, senior management included, may find that the training required to bring them up to expected standards is a low priority in their otherwise busy days, or they may feel they have enough experience that they ‘know what they’re doing’. This often results in people either not completing their training, or doing it as a last minute rush job. At best, this leaves people exposed to feeling like they’re letting the team down and at worst leaving themselves and the organisation open to serious sanctions.
Building an ethical compliance culture starts at the top of an organisation. Senior management should lead by example and engage with compliance and related training, and communicate this to the wider organisation, whether this is through email updates or casual chats by the watercooler. People will often have a chat about their working day, but it never includes matters of compliance – if you can change that, then the growth of a compliance culture becomes organic.
Training needs to be engaging. It needs to be more than a tedious box-ticking exercise, or a bloated seminar where 90% of the information is forgotten by the end of the day. Simply put, if training is enjoyable, then people are happy to do it, and they are more likely to retain the important information.
Training also needs to be reflective of an organisations’ specific requirements. Much of the compliance regulations are set in stone, but how this influences policies, procedures and risk assessments will vary widely between organisations. Just as importantly, as regulations change, so must the training be kept up to date.
Flexibility in where and when training is completed is also important, so long as the expectations and any relevant deadlines are clear. The more someone feels in control of their schedule, the more likely they are to clear that schedule in good time.
On the same subject, it is also important to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, it is fine to complete training alone. Team building exercises and group training have their place, but some people prefer to work in isolation, and to get the best out of people, allow them to set their preferred training environment where possible.
It goes without saying that training is vital, but it shouldn’t be just about understanding compliance enough to sign off for another year, it should help to build and support the desired compliance culture, where everyone pulls together to follow the same shared message that compliance isn’t a minefield to tiptoe through, it is the core strength of a solid, ethical team.
At E3, our focus is on helping you to get compliant and build your compliance culture, and our training can help your organisation achieve all this and more. We use gamification techniques to make training as fun and engaging as possible, which has the dual benefit of more information being retained for longer and getting people talking. As our training can be completed on PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, it gives people the flexibility to get it done when they are in the right frame of mind to do their best.