Why Compliance Training is More Than a Checkbox

Why Compliance Training is More Than a Checkbox

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Executive Summary

Compliance training is one of the most important kinds of training an organization can offer—and there is ample evidence that, collectively, we have an opportunity to be better at it. Anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, and safety training have many outstanding benefits beyond controlling costs and maintaining compliance with the law. Compliance training content can be complemented with other training measures— such as strong instructional design, blended learning, and proper follow-up—to have maximum impact and change corporate cultures for the better.

Several news events, including accusations against Harvey Weinstein and others, TIME magazine’s choice of The Silence Breakers as their 2017 Person of the Year, and the #MeToo movement on social media, all put workplace harassment into the spotlight... and created a renewed interest in compliance training across the board. Years later we still see claims in the news. We still have work to do.

Compliance training refers to the process of educating employees on laws, regulations, and company policies around their activities and behavior at the workplace. Harassment, discrimination, and workplace safety tend to be the three biggest areas of compliance training.

How Do You Create a Safe, Productive, and Ethical Environment?

Compliance training is the most important responsibility of a training department/professional. As outlined below, this kind of training is not simply about minimizing legal responsibility—it is key to creating an environment that is safe, productive, and ethical. The headlines and statistics confront us with an uncomfortable truth: Compliance training is often treated as an afterthought.

We can do better. Our workplaces can be safer and more inclusive, which will make them more inviting for everyone—and more productive. To achieve such a workplace, organizations will need many things: Clear, well-communicated policies, fair discipline, discussion, and more. It is clear to us that these rest on a solid foundation of good compliance training. Not necessarily the compliance training handed to us from decades gone by, but modern, well-designed training. In other words, best practices recommend compliance training with more measurement, better instructional design, more follow-up, and more discussion to really change corporate culture for the better. This is what modern organizations should want to be: safer, more ethical, and more caring about their people.

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