How to Boost Employee Engagement in Training

Posted by

Vivek Dodd

on 15 Jun 2020

It's an ongoing struggle for companies to keep employees engaged in training. Especially with a constant stream of new regulations and tweaks to existing ones.

How to Boost Employee Engagement in Training

For most employees, compliance isn’t their job. It's unlikely they are 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 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

In fact, 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 what their responsibilities are 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.

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 that are fully personalised, not just to their company but to the employee in question. Using your company name, the names of your policies, the terminology you use within the business, as well as the names of specific individuals makes training much more real and meaningful for your employees.

And going even further, by introducing intelligent elements to personalise, adapt and gamify the training content, and generate valuable analytics. Each learner then receives training aligned to their role, existing abilities and addressing any 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 not just how they can prevent money laundering, but why they need to prevent it.

For example, money laundering happens when people don't pay income tax on the wages that they earn, which means 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, their colleagues, friends, family and so on.

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 topics like gender equality, fire safety and cyber security.

4. Reduce the barriers to training access

Research shows that using a variety of training methods is important for employee engagement. Short videos and apps make it easy to access the training content at any time 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 desk, 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 people 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 that is necessary for ensuring a compliant workforce.

The purpose of compliance training is to change people’s behaviour, knowledge or both. And to trigger change, people need to feel inspired. This means you can’t just roll out the same messages year after year.

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.
  • Try out interactive scenarios where your employees have to apply the knowledge that 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 but without the drudgery that people sometimes associate with traditional learning.

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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