03 September 2019

Conquer your compliance challenges

The word ‘compliance’ conjures up mixed emotions in the workplace. Some companies fight to thrive in highly regulated industries, whilst others pro-actively seek to maintain high levels of compliance to give them a competitive edge. Despite its various guises, it’s an essential component in all businesses and getting the administrative process right is key.

Research from Towards Maturity, an industry benchmarking organisation promoting learning innovation, shows organisations want greater support from L&D to help with critical business issues, such as compliance, so they are better equipped at responding to change. And with pressure from external regulators  and  changes in legislation, having the right process streams and systems in place will save you time, effort and worry. How can you ensure that your LMS is supporting your learners and the business with critical data so it can flourish?

Through our work with Channel 4, Bayer and Hft, we’ve identified five key areas that can help:

1. Focus on competent compliance

The crucial factor in a successful compliance programme is to focus on competence, not on box-ticking. It can be tempting to see the goal as ‘ensuring everyone has been told and that we have a record’.  That might appease the auditors but what about supporting the business so it can really thrive? Competent compliance means focusing on behaviours, and that people are doing the right thing – every time. Honing in on competence gives you the opportunity to blend online courses with workplace activities or  practical exercises that a line manager can sign-off online.

2. Automate renewals

Many regulators insist on recurrent compliance training; it’s also important to keep the subject and recommended actions fresh in the minds of colleagues. But whether it’s annual or otherwise, managing the schedule of requirements for everyone within the organisation can be challenging. Different learners complete  at different times and courses have differing validity periods and refresher requirements. An LMS that helps you manage the repeating schedule of requirements is essential to cutting through the administrative load that compliance training produces.

3. Generate actionable reports

Another common factor in effective compliance programmes is the ability to quickly and easily ascertain the regulatory ‘health’ of the organisation and to take action. Many businesses find it difficult to know who has completed and, critically, who still needs to complete. This may be because record-keeping is still manual – using a spreadsheet – for example, or because their online tracking only provides information on activity or completions, not a list of people who haven’t yet completed. Channel 4 and other award-winners use real-time reports, broken down by department, to see a red, amber, or green compliance status for each important subject area. The broadcaster can generate the exact management information required and dynamic reporting means that managers can slice the usage and completion data in whatever way they need to meet audit requirements.

4. Involve managers

Do you struggle to get colleagues to complete required training courses, only to be left with low completion rates? Sometimes this is because the content is uninspiring, but it can also be because the learners aren’t being supported enough. Engaged line managers can take action, but they need to be given the information and tools to make an impact. Make sure you include line managers in your communication plan when launching your programme. It’s important that they know their role and also ‘what’s in it for them’, and how it will benefit the organisation overall.

5. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Too often we err on the low side when pushing out communications. Don’t forget, your initiative is  competing with a cacophony of information noise. Once your programme launches, your LMS should be producing post-course survey results, completion statistics, quiz scores, and more. Analyse this data and use the results to reinforce the positive messages  to senior leaders, including return on investment calculations. Continued senior management support is crucial to your fledgling e-learning initiative. It’s your responsibility  to keep senior leaders informed so that they continue to lend the top level support your initiative requires. If issues arise – and some may – make sure you respond quickly. Don’t let negative word-of-mouth kill  your programme. Make changes to content, if necessary and befriend IT to help overcome unexpected technical glitches.

From innovating pharmaceutical companies like Bayer, to cutting-edge broadcaster Channel 4, Breeio clients have been recognised as some of the best at meeting and exceeding compliance challenges, earning ‘Best compliance project’ awards and ‘Best e-learning project’ several times in recent years. The award-winning Breeio platform has supported ‘Best E-learning Project’ finalists and winners in four of the last seven years. The cloud-based system is ideally suited for organisations of 250 – 7,000 people and is used by Boots, KPMG, Bayer and M&Co.