Increase employee engagement through compliance training
For most organisations, compliance can feel like the thing you just have to get done. It’s essential to keep your employees informed, and if you’re the owners executives or board-members, it’s something that needs to be done to try to prevent instances occurring and to mitigate your exposure. If this is the only reason you do this training, it’s likely to be just a box-ticking exercise.
Why you don’t want to just tick the boxes.
Firstly, the downside to any training that is completed just because you have to is that you are highly unlikely to have any real employee engagement in it. If that’s your approach to your compliance program, then that’s a real worry. It won’t have any lasting effect on people’s behaviour. This means if you’ve invested in – “anti-bullying” training – then you have wasted your investment and any workplace bullying culture that may exist will most likely continue. Or, people won’t be fully cognisant of what workplace bullying can look like, and what they can do to adapt their language or behaviour.
Secondly, you’re missing the real organisational benefits that come from having a fully engaged workforce. When your entire organisation understands their roles in building a collaborative culture, which promotes diversity and inclusion, it is likely you will have a much more motivated workforce. People will recognise and report incidents earlier, and you are much more likely to address them earlier. Early identification, as any doctor will tell you, is one of the best ways of preventing anything serious occurring.
So how do you create employee engagement through compliance training?
In its most simple form, there are four parts to this:
- Take a stand – Compliance cultures are built from the top.
It is no good just issuing leaflets, having a staff briefing etc if those at the top aren’t seen to be taking a lead. Edgar Schein, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said that “leaders create cultures by what they systematically pay attention to. This can mean anything from what they notice and comment on, to what they measure, control, reward and in others ways systematically deal with .” It starts by setting up your program correctly. Hold a staff meeting explaining why the business is now taking things like health and safety, anti-bullying etc more seriously, and what support you’ll be giving staff. Send out regular emails or communication from the top. If you are using online learning for your compliance training, then it is well worth incorporating a short message or video from the leaders within the training .
- Transparency – it is part of a culture of trust.
When everyone in your organisation is more aware of what the laws are and what their individual responsibilities are, they are more likely to report incidents. They’ll also be a culture of more visible and shared information. It is also more likely that things won’t just be ignored and the necessary conversations will take place. All this transparency helps increase workers trust in each other. PwC’s New Zealand CEO Survey 2017 shows that 41% of New Zealand’s CEOs are concerned about a lack of trust in business. So if running a compliance program helps with this, then that can only be a good thing.
- Your productivity and efficiency will increase
Getting the right training in place enables employees to understand their duties and perform them more efficiently. Knowing and understanding the workplace regulations helps your employees act within the legal framework. This helps them to avoid making errors that could result in hefty penalty fines or lawsuits, also helping them to avoid what can be a very stressful process, as well as saving your business’ reputation, money and time. An effective compliance can also help you streamline your business processes, and enhance the efficiency of your organisation.
- An annual investment shows you care
No true culture is achieved in one simple hit. It is achieved through the active participation of leadership, the effective training of staff, and a follow-on culture of supporting and actively doing. Leaders and managers need to help employees actively use what they have learnt on a day to day basis. This is further enhanced by annual training which reinforces what has been learnt, and provides clear records that show year-on-year people’s knowledge has, at the very least, been maintained to an acceptable level. This is where the benefits of an online compliance training program can really assist you. Not only is it likely to be cost effective, but the information everyone receives is the same, and the reports produced give you timely and relevant organisational data.
Therefore, it is important to think beyond just ticking the box, but instead look at the benefits that can be gained from an ongoing annual compliance training and employee engagement program.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”
Which means if you look at running an all year round program and continue to train and develop your staff continually, you’ll not only create a true culture of compliance, but as Aristotle puts it, you’ll start to create the habit of excellence.