Six Lessons that Redefine Focused Compliance Training: Lesson Two

Read Lesson One: Click Here

Lesson Two: Training Best Practices - 4 Steps to a More Effective Training Program

Compliance training is one of your organization’s largest compliance investments in terms of both time and money. Training programs can be expensive to build or purchase, and the reality is that seat time is precious and expensive. With tight budgets and limited training time allocated to compliance, it’s important to make sure your making the most of your investment.

Compliance training impacts every one of your employees and high-quality training can help build a more ethical and compliant culture and drive business success—so it’s vital to make the right investment.

HR and compliance professionals are scrutinizing training curriculums and trying to make them more effective and efficient. Large libraries of outdated courseware that aren’t engaging or updated are no longer acceptable; they don’t change behavior and often go unused.

So how do you make the most of your investment? What should you consider when evaluating your options? The following tips will help you do just that.

Step 1: Assess the Current State of your Training Program

It’s not uncommon for an organization’s leaders to have a fuzzy picture about the current state of training in their workplace. Divided ownership and segmented budgets often help drive this phenomenon. But getting a clear picture of what you are doing, and what is working, is critical if you want to make your program better.

The first step in this process is to gather critical information such as:

  • Your organization’s greatest risks (legal, cultural and reputational); if you are not sure, conduct a risk assessment to find out
  • Map out current training efforts, including audience, method and frequency
  • Ask employees whether the training is engaging and effective
  • Assess the age of your current training courses
  • Evaluate the cost of delivering training in its current format; include seat time and travel time/expenses, as well as internal costs to develop and maintain
  • What other training pressures are placed on learners
Whether you are focusing on HR risks, or you have responsibility for broader compliance training, gathering this information will help you properly assess the current state.

Step 2: Explore New Trends and Approaches
There is a flurry of activity in the training world right now that has resulted in a variety of trending training approaches—everything from gamification to mobile enabled courses. Some of these tools and strategies can enhance your training program. But just because something is hot now, does not guarantee that it is effective or a good investment. You still need to be critical about the trends you incorporate and whether they will work in your culture and in the context of your program.

Even if a trending method or tool works in your environment, use it wisely. Too much of a good thing can backfire. Just because it works for some purposes does not mean that it will be an engaging or useful learning experience for other purposes. One example of this is mobile learning.

Some of the hottest trends right now include the following:

  • Shorter courses that really get to the point and cover “need to know” information for your audience.
  • A laser focus on key risk areas, rather than massive libraries of courses that are outdated
  • An expectation of true engagement and entertainment
  • Continuous learning, including short bursts, to ensure the message stays top of mind.
  • Mobile enabled training
  • Social/collaborative learning such as blogs, video-casting,

Step 3: Focus on the Topics that Matter Most
You could train on everything, every topic and every risk area… but that’s not effective or practical. No organization has the bandwidth to consume that much training. Rather, the key is to focus on the topics that matter most and make sure that what you are delivering and how it is being delivered is as good as it can be. Maintaining a strong focus can help you really add value and create impact for your organization.

So when you are considering where to make an investment, focus on the topics that:


  • Drive the greatest risk
  • Can change behavior and impact the culture
  • Are critical to your organization’s culture and values
  • Are vital for protecting your organization’s reputation
  • Help establish key legal defenses

What topics do NAVEX Global clients seek out and focus on; it aligns with general industry practice. The top 12 topic areas include the following:

  • Ethics and code of conduct
  • Harassment (all forms, not just sexual harassment)
  • Bribery & corruption


  • Data privacy 
  • Technology use and security
  • Reporting and retaliation
  • Wage and hour
  • Discrimination
  • Antitrust and competition law
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Insider trading
  • Protecting Confidential information

These are the topic areas that impact the largest number of employees and that should reflect your organization’s commitment to high-quality training. For some industries, especially highly-regulated ones, this list will include several additional topics, as the volume of expected or mandated topics is more extensive.

Step 4: Chart Your Course – Curriculum Mapping 101
Once you know what you want to cover, you need to figure out how and when you will do it.Commonly called curriculum mapping, this process will help you establish the cadence and methodology for deploying continuous compliance learning.

A well designed map will help ensure proper coverage of your organization’s key risk areas, help avoid learner fatigue, and give you a big picture assessment of methodology and deployment strategies.

If you want to learn more about this process and how to build a curriculum map, click here. In this webinar, my colleague, Mary Bennett, and I walk you through the basics and cover considerations and training methods.

Some of the very high-level questions you must ask about your organization to make this process successful include:

  • What are my key training goals?
  • What key risks am I trying to manage?
  • What support do I have for my initiative; is training mandatory or optional?
  • What format is most effective for my employees?
  • How much learning can employees realistically consume?
  • How much seat time is available for training?
  • Are there time periods where training will be best received based on demands on the business (for example, busy periods)?
  • How often should I train to build valuable legal defenses?
  • How can I maximize my budget spend without sacrificing key goals?
  • Do I need to create special training for certain audiences or people in key roles?

The curriculum map document you create can ultimately take many different forms; it can be a simple overview or a detailed spreadsheet that provides extensive detail about your training program. The right form, depth, and content will depend on the complexity of your program, the nature of your organization and its risks, and your goals.

Chat with a solutions expert to learn how you can take your compliance program to the next level of maturity.

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