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eLearning: The Solution to Make Compliance Training Great Again

Nobody looks forward to the time of year when they get the dreaded email. You’re sitting there, being highly productive, enjoying life, when that little notification pops up on your screen. Suddenly clouds move in, your office feels a little smaller, and a deep sense of melancholy settles over the world: it’s time for your annual compliance training.

Ok, so that may be a bit dramatized, but few people actually look forward to compliance training. Nothing stunts productivity more than being removed from your computer or workstation, then being crammed into a conference room with frustrated co-workers to listen to a rehash of last year’s “useless” content.

If you’re the one sending this annual buzzkill email, perhaps it’s time to re-think your compliance training. Let’s move your compliance training into the 21st century – online.

Now, it may be hard to convince management to invest in an online conversion if your only reasons are to avoid the chorus of groans your emails generate, and the sheer volume of side-eye you have to put up with as people enter the conference room.

Real as those reasons are, there are legitimate advantages to online compliance training that will speak to those with their fingers on the purse strings. Here’s why converting your compliance training from ILT to eLearning is a good idea.

Online is Social

I know what you’re thinking. How is taking it out of the conference room and putting it on a computer going to make it more social? Well, friend, have you heard of social media? The real world isn’t the only place you can make connections anymore. In fact, online training can be more social – and more social can be more effective.

Anyone who’s ever been to a bar or club will tell you that socializing is rather dependent on ambiance. It’s easy to be social when there’s music playing and drinks flowing. It’s a bit harder when your setting is under the cold glow of flickering fluorescents, and the only soundtrack is the dull drone of the instructor. Most attendees are more likely to take a nap than actually engage.

Online, however, people are more likely to engage. They’re all accustomed to forms of online communication like Slack, Hangouts, and Flowdock. They’re learned in the ways of the forum. If your online compliance training is designed around some form of online communication, you’re more likely to have users engage in conversation about the topics than in person. You may even be able to have users help generate content for future training sessions.

Saves Money and Time

Classroom-based training, compliance or otherwise, is an expensive venture. It’s not only the costs associated with putting together the actual materials and instructors (which is nothing to sneeze at). It’s also the logistics. You need to have a space available, all the materials organized and ensure that all the necessary people can be in attendance at the right time. If you think you can put that many people in one room without providing snacks, you’ve got another thing coming – and another expense.

Then, you’ve got the cost of lost productivity. We’d all like to say that when we have a meeting, we only lose the time spent in the meeting. If we were to say that, we’d all be giant liars. We’re not only losing the time spent in the meeting, but also the gear up for the meeting. Then there are the obligatory conversations after the meeting, where your employees will obviously speak glowingly of the training – and are in no way making fun of the dated video scenarios you’ve forced them to watch.

Moving your training online means that you’ll save money by having all of your overhead up front. Those responsible for your training materials will assist your LMS provider, whether third party or in-house, to create the compliance courses. Once the courses go live to the employees, they’re done and able to resume their normal duties.

Online compliance also gives employees the ability to choose when they access the courses, saving time. If your course takes advantage of microlearning (breaking up content into short, easily consumed modules), your employees can use moments of downtime to quickly access and complete portions of the training without affecting their productivity.

Make Compliance Engaging Again

There’s a reason we make our employees take an annual compliance course. It’s not because we enjoy making them suffer. Ensuring your employees are compliant keeps them on message with the brand, and reduces liability. However, if they’re sleeping through the compliance training, you’re not going to see that benefit.

Taking your training online opens up options to make your training engaging:

Make a Game of It

Gamification of eLearning content is not a new concept but the tools available to us are constantly improving. We have the ability to create effective, engaging games for employees that will pass on the information we’re trying to teach. When done well, your employees won’t realize they’re taking their compliance training; and will only trash talk their co-workers a little (but in a very compliant manner).

Tell Them a Story

Most LMS have video editing capabilities. It’s very easy to put together video-based modules that are far superior to the old VHS videos they’d watch in the conference room. Pro-tip: Don’t toss those bloopers. Show them to learners as a reward after completing a module.

Make it Responsive

If you’ve ever been on Facebook or talked to someone of a certain age, you’re probably aware that people of a different certain age are on their phones – a lot. If you make your content responsive, they’ll have the option to do their required compliance training while waiting in line or riding the bus, instead of taking out their frustration on some sugary confectioneries or catching fictional magic pets.

No Reason Not to Convert

The evidence is clear. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to convince the top brass at your organization to convert your compliance training to eLearning.

This year, when you send out those emails (or – bonus! –  have your LMS do it automatically), you may not be cheered and hoisted onto the shoulders of your co-workers, but you also won’t hear the audible groan from the collective masses either. That’s a step in the right direction, and proof that converting your compliance training from ILT to eLearning is a good idea.

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