Criminals, fraud, terrorists, prison, fines, media frenzy and bankruptcy – exciting stuff! So why is the vast majority of compliance training as dry as Gandhi’s sandals?
Financial fraud and data protection cases have been all over the news in 2008, and 2009 is set to be a big year for legislative and regulatory bodies. Big corporates will be fighting to herd their workforce through the gate of hell that is compliance “e-learning”.
I use the quotes because the sad truth of the matter is that learning has very little to do with the motivation behind compliance interventions and even less to do with the result. Many a blogger before me has lamented this fact; here are just a few choice quotes to illustrate the point:
“In most, you will literally lose the will to live…
This is all about attendance, not attainment – literally ticks in boxes.” – Donald Clark
“It has NOTHING to do with learning.” – Brent Schlenker
“It’s like immunising people with placebos.” – Donald Clark
When it comes to workplace training, it doesn’t get much more serious than legal and regulatory compliance. Yes, you want employees to be good at their jobs, to be motivated to continuously develop new skills and to manage their own learning. But surely, before all that, you want them not to land the company in a whole heap of trouble by leaving customers’ details on the train, letting slip the latest product info to their mates down the pub or not noticing that their fellow trader is swindling millions at the other end of the desk.
Yet the same companies who are so diligent about the quality of their e-learning when it comes to soft skills, performance management and systems training suddenly lose all ambition when it comes to compliance. So why do organisations find it so hard to see the correlation between compliance training and performance? Why is the highest ambition companies have for compliance training “you have to do it and you have to show that you’ve done it” (Sue Weeks)?
As Brent Schlenker points out, “if the goal of the training is to be compliant then you’re wasting your money doing anything more than just a simple converted PowerPoint with a test at the end.” If this attitude is the driving force behind delivering compliance training, the ROI is precisely nil. Why not get your money’s worth out of your training and actually try and prevent breaches of compliance at the same time as showing that you have done what’s required of you?
Or, at least, attempt to make the training – dare I say – fun. This is possible, I promise! Compliance e-learning offers a wealth of possibilities when it comes to making the training engaging for the learner, whether that’s going for a game-like delivery or making it as relevant and realistic as possible – you’ll know which your people will respond best to.
With 2009 looking like it’s going to be less than a barrel of laughs, let’s not add to the woes of the global workforce by sapping what little will to live they do have through mindless, pointless, painful compliance training.
Let’s dust ourselves off from the disappointments of previous efforts and keep trying to bridge that gap between compliance and performance. Or, at the very least, between compliance training and consciousness.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!