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Why Annual Compliance Training Matters + Tips to Make it More Effective

Effective compliance training is an essential fundamental element of a successful organization. 

It’s the pillar of how employees act. It’s the best tool for ensuring a safe workplace and improving your company’s reputation, but the benefits extend beyond that. Compliance training can help you reduce lost costs and secure better insurance policies. 

Though we know the importance of compliance programs, many organizations ignore them. One study found that 77 percent of organizations face an external compliance audit at least annually, yet only 48 percent believe they’re fully prepared for it. 

Learn the basics of compliance training, the different types, and how to create a compliance program that’s fun and engaging. 

What is compliance training?

Compliance training is a type of training that helps employees understand and comply with company policies and procedures. It can also include training on specific laws and regulations that apply to the company’s business.

Why is annual compliance training important?

This type of training is important for ensuring that employees understand the expectations and requirements for their role. It can help prevent potential compliance issues and provide a resource for employees with questions or concerns about company policies.

You can deliver compliance training in various formats, including online courses, classroom-based instruction, or one-on-one meetings with a supervisor or human resources representative. The format will vary depending on the company’s needs and the employees’ learning requirements. 

Why annual compliance training matters

Some argue that annual compliance training is unnecessary and a waste of time. They think most employees already understand company policies and that compliance training does not help to protect organizations from risk.

Plus, they argue that annual compliance training is often boring and ineffective—which is why some 44 percent of organizations do not measure the effectiveness of their policy management programs. 

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Almost 63 percent of organizations believe that their policy management program helps reduce the legal cost and resolution time of regulatory issues and fines. 

Compliance training can help:

  • Employees understand and comply with company policies
  • Protect you from risks associated with potential legal and financial penalties
  • Improves your company’s reputation and image
  • Secure better insurance policies
  • Create a safer work environment 

Annual compliance training helps employees know the latest laws and regulations and understand how to apply them to their day-to-day work. 

Types of compliance training

In most workplaces, annual compliance training is mandatory. One study found that organizations will provide training on an average of 12 topical areas.  

The top three topics most likely to be covered by training programs within the next two to three years include code of conduct (93 percent), conflict of interest (76 percent), and cybersecurity (69 percent). 

Other standard training programs include:

  • Anti-harassment training
  • Workplace safety
  • Workplace violence
  • Diversity training
  • HR law 

Organizations recognize the importance of compliance training and invest in programs covering various topics. By doing so, they can create a safe, productive workplace for all employees.

How to make annual compliance training more engaging

Make content interactive

Your learners are used to controlling their own experiences. Why not give them that control over their educational content as well? Make learning content interactive by including activities, quizzes, and exercises that let learners check their knowledge.

Read More: eLearning Content: 24 Types to Include in Training

You can also use interactive content to make complex topics more approachable. For example, if you’re running diversity training, encourage learner engagement by providing scenarios they might encounter in the workplace and asking them to choose the best response. 

You can also use simulations to immerse learners in a situation where they can practice making decisions. 

Format content in small chunks

When learning new information, humans have a notoriously short attention span. So when designing your annual compliance training, break your content into smaller, manageable pieces.

Read More: What is Microlearning?

This means that you can maintain depth and substance in your content. You can still cover the same material, but delivering it in smaller chunks will make it easier for learners to digest and retain the information.

Here are some guidelines: 

  • 3- to 5-minute lessons, max
  • Break up lessons over 10 minutes into sections
  • Show more videos than slides
  • Use a casual, yet high-energy tone

To ensure your compliance training is engaging and compelling, following these guidelines will help your learners focus and absorb the material.

Read more: Make eLearning Engaging in 7 Steps

Give real-life examples

An annual compliance training program is only as good as its ability to prepare learners for the real world. To make your content more relatable and engaging, include examples that learners can relate to.

Use case studies, fictionalized stories, or current events to bring your content to life. Just ensure that the examples you choose are relevant to your learners and that they can easily see how your teaching principles apply to real-world situations.

Keep content up to date

No matter how well your annual compliance training program is designed, it won’t be effective if the content is outdated. Make sure to keep your content current by regularly reviewing and updating it.

This is especially important if your content covers regulatory changes or industry developments. But even if your content doesn’t expire, it’s essential to keep it fresh, so learners don’t get bored.

Ensure to invite learners to contribute examples of how they’ve used what they’ve learned in the real world. This not only helps to keep the content relevant but also encourages learner engagement and ownership.

Gamify compliance training

Make learning fun by incorporating gaming elements into your annual compliance training program. You can use badges, leaderboards, and points to encourage learners to complete more content and track their progress.

This approach can also make complex topics more engaging by adding an element of competition. For example, you could create a game where learners must answer questions to move up to the next level.

Games can also simulate real-world situations so that learners can practice making decisions. This is an excellent way to give them a feel for what they could face in the real world without putting them in  danger.

Deliver learning content through a learning management system (LMS)

Delivering and tracking learning content is essential to the success of your annual compliance training program. You can do this with a learning management system (LMS), which provides a central platform for storing and delivering content.

A platform like WorkRamp lets you build compliance programs that offer:

  • Asynchronous and lie learning sessions
  • Mobile-friendly course materials
  • Streamlined course assignments, event scheduling, and group management
  • Zoom-based two-way coaching
  • Challenges and certifications that are easy to build

WorkRamp provides all the features needed to create fun compliance programs out of the box. A drag-and-drop course creation tool offers an intuitive interface for developing engaging learning experiences.

With WorkRamp Content, you can access a fully-integrated content experience with ready-to-go training materials curated from top compliance providers. 

Best practices for annual compliance training

Annual compliance training is important to maintaining a safe and compliant workplace. Here are some best practices to ensure your program is effective:

  1. Make sure that all employees receive the same training
  2. Ensure that the training covers all relevant topics, such as safety procedures, anti-discrimination policies, and sexual harassment awareness
  3. Make sure that employees have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback 
  4. Evaluate employees’ understanding of the training material by administering quizzes or tests
  5. Follow up with employees after the training to see if they have any questions or concerns
  6. Make sure to update the training material regularly to keep it relevant and effective
  7. Schedule live training at a convenient time for employees that won’t interfere with their work schedule
  8. Ensure the training is interactive and engaging, using activities, videos, or other multimedia resources
  9. Keep the training sessions short and focused so that employees can retain the information they learn
  10. Keep track of course progress and completion rates to improve material for future use

Annual compliance training helps you create a safe workplace for employees

Compliance training is critical for creating a safe and friendly workplace. Using a learning platform like WorkRamp, you can automate course authoring and track learners’ progress, making compliance training more effective with less time and effort. 

Learn more about using WorkRamp to create engaging compliance training. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.


Complete the form for a custom demo.

Michael Keenan

WorkRamp Contributor

Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.

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