How to Improve Employee Training Engagement

Posted by

Vivek Dodd

on 25 Aug 2023

It's an ongoing struggle for companies to keep employees engaged in training. The constant stream of new regulations doesn't make it any easier.

employee engagement training

For most employees, compliance isn't their job. They are unlikely to be thrilled at the prospect of anti-money laundering training for the nth year running.

Often, remuneration is based on meeting targets and achieving customer satisfaction scores. So, whilst staff know they need to follow the rules and use best practices, completing yet more compliance training isn't at the front of their mind.

So, how can you keep them engaged on these critical issues for your company?

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Tips to boost employee training engagement

  1. Use practical examples
  2. Personalise training content
  3. Explain the 'why' of the need for training
  4. Reduce the barriers to training access
  5. Regularly refresh your training content
  6. Use technology to engage employees
  7. Get everyone involved

There are a few simple techniques you can apply to your training strategy to help overcome the apathy that may have built up.

1. Use practical examples

The secret to engaging people with compliance is to make training applicable to their role. This means using practical examples that show them their responsibilities from a personal perspective.

It also means not drowning them in the names of specific laws or acts. It's not their job to know the technical names. But it is their job to know what their responsibilities are. As soon as staff see how compliance relates to their ability to do a good job, they will naturally become engaged.

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2. Personalise training content

The most obvious way to make compliance training relevant to your employees is with bespoke content.

Organisations need bespoke training programmes, fully personalised to their company and the employee in question. Using your company name, the names of your policies, the terminology you use within the business, and the names of specific individuals makes training much more real and meaningful for your employees.

And to take it one step further by introducing intelligent elements to personalise, adapt and gamify the training content and generate valuable analytics. Each learner receives training aligned to their role and existing abilities and addresses knowledge gaps.

3. Explain the 'why' of the need for training

If your employees understand why it's important that they complete compliance training, they are much more likely to be motivated to both participate and pay proper attention.

Staff need to understand why it's important to comply with rules and regulations, not just for themselves and the company but for their customers, too. Staff in a retail bank need to know how to prevent money laundering, but why they need to prevent it.

For example, money laundering happens when people don't pay income tax on their wages, so we all have to pay more tax to support things like the NHS and the police service. This will appeal to people as it makes it meaningful to them, their customers, colleagues, friends, family, etc.

Align training with events in the news. In that way, staff feel like they are 'doing their bit' towards a greater goal. A good example would be awareness days related to gender equality, fire safety and cyber security.

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4. Reduce the barriers to training access

Research shows that using various training methods is important for employee engagement. Short videos and apps make it easy to access the training content anytime and anywhere, which reduces the barriers to completing training.

Sometimes, just giving people a choice can be enough to make a difference. While some employees may prefer desktop learning options, where they can complete training at their desks, others may prefer mobile learning options that allow them to choose when and where they learn. We all learn in different ways. By broadening the options, we give everyone a chance to learn in a way that is better suited to them.

5. Regularly refresh your training content

Compliance fatigue is a real problem that many companies face. But the good news is that there's a lot you can do to motivate and engage your employees with the training necessary for ensuring a compliant workforce.

To engage employees, training needs to be delivered through interactive experiences that provide the right context for the employee. This means integrating content and technology into a cohesive policy and training interface that connects everything with one thought in mind — the employee experience.

Compliance training aims to change people's behaviour, knowledge or both. To trigger change, people need to feel inspired. This means you can't just roll out the same messages yearly.

Ways to refresh your staff training

  • Use recent news stories to illustrate points and make the training feel current.
  • Try rolling out micro-learning modules that make the point with access to more details in a separate document - bite-sized learning fits easily into a work schedule and helps with employee knowledge retention.
  • Try out interactive scenarios where your employees have to apply the knowledge they've previously gained.
  • Try an annual refresher - where you can combine several compliance topics - again to save time and get buy-in from your staff.
  • Use non-traditional training methods, such as gamified learning - to achieve your objective of assessing and informing without the drudgery that people sometimes associate with traditional learning.

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6. Use technology to engage employees

Employee engagement requires compliance technology that is relevant, intuitive, easy to use, and interactive. Employees live their personal and professional lives in a social-technology-permeated world. Compliance engagement needs to engage employees and not frustrate or bore them.

Compliance engagement requires the alignment of technology to the needs of employees. In the past, compliance technology has focused on technology for risk and compliance professionals, not on engaging and interactive experiences for all levels of the organisation. This requires interfaces to be engaging, social, mobile, and relevant to the broader employees and stakeholders of the organisation.

7. Get everyone involved

Organisations must deploy contextually relevant systems to employees without having to wade through a lot of information, tabs, screens, or reports to get to what they need. It is important for the experience to be inclusive of all individuals in the workplace.

The employee experience needs to be interactive and appealing. Policy and training should provide the information needed, along with links to relationships to other information the employee needs but may not be aware of.

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Overcoming the challenge of employee engagement

Delivering on the vision of employee engagement requires employees to have an interface to compliance, policies, and training. It is critical for the company to align its messages with its values.

Employees and stakeholders need to understand that compliance is more than regulatory bureaucracy and troublesome requirements but is relevant in the context of their role in the organisation. Compliance films and books on compliance can aid in offering a greater understanding of compliance.

The haphazard department and document-centric approaches for employee management on compliance of the past compound the problem. It is time for organisations to step back and define a cross-functional and coordinated strategy to define and govern employee engagement in compliance and ethics.

Organisations need to wipe the slate clean and approach employee engagement by design, with a strategy and architecture to manage the ecosystem of compliance, policies, and training in an integrated portal.

Tackling other compliance challenges

Compliance has always been an issue that affects companies, but events like the global financial crisis have raised the profile of governance in the finance industry and beyond.

Against this backdrop, creating a culture of compliance within your organisation is more crucial than ever. We've identified five challenges that every Chief Compliance Officer needs to address, including engagement. Find out about the other challenges in our eBook.

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