The first part of this series is posted here.

It often comes as a surprise to organizations when an audit or survey shows that they are non-compliant or at the risk of being so. I have heard many conversations like, “But we already have tons of compliance courses designed by each of our 20 global functions! Employees have a big choice of trainings, platforms, and course delivery languages to select from. What’s more, every employee must complete 5 mandatory courses per year!”

The aim of a compliance training program is not to merely achieve 100% training compliance, it is to enable the organization become a compliance driven workplace. A large quantity of undirected, stand-alone, courses may help achieve the former, but they have no mechanism to achieve the latter.

The first component of a compliance training program is a single training strategy that is based on organizational values and aligned to its business needs. For example, if your goal is to reduce the risk level of audit findings, then every component of the training program must be designed to meet that objective. What’s more, such components must help each other achieve this goal.

In this example from a recent project, we ended up creating a compliance training program that went beyond the scope of just a bunch of training courses. It was an interesting experience, because it opened our eyes to how much collaboration is needed with other functions and activities to realize the full benefit of a training program.

In fact, popular training components like courses, FAQs, simulations, and discussion forums comprised the thinnest layer of the program (approx. 10%). The middle layer, about 20%, ensured technical and process infrastructure for the program. Building a compliance driven business culture was the deepest layer- almost imperceptible to the end-user. At about 70%, it was also the largest and most active. As part of this layer, we implemented a two-pronged logical and emotional approach. Applying the former, we tracked, collected, analyzed and presented program data and trends. This was used to enhance processes, update documents, and re-define tasks and roles. This helped us improve and update current cultural artefacts. And using the emotional approach, we implemented messages from the management and thought leaders. This helped us change current cultural artefacts.

Training Components