Let’s face it: Your employees groan at a new round of compliance training. Who could blame them? The typical corporate training is notoriously boring and, in the eyes of busy teams, less important than daily work. But this can change. Training doesn’t have to be something you force your staff to endure. When done right, compliance training can actually increase employee engagement and retention.
We’ve been in the compliance industry for a long time, so we can tell you: Every office is different. However, we’ve identified some tried-and-true ways to execute compliance training that will keep your employees happy and help build a culture where they feel empowered to have a voice, speak up, and hold one another accountable.
New hires enter a workplace naturally uncertain about how their new employer will treat them. Effective compliance training early on can reassure fresh employees that their company is committed to looking out for them, their rights, and their place in the office. For instance, a training program that includes a clear, robust definition of discrimination communicates to new employees, particularly those of minority groups, that their employer understands the kind of workplace problems they could face – and is prepared to prevent or resolve them. Consequently, these new hires will feel confident in their choice to join your team.
Training will also likely be a new hire’s first brush with company culture and your chance to make a positive first impression around important topics like office ethics, core company procedures, and more. If organizations want their team members to uphold a larger business vision, sticking the landing here is where it all starts. When done effectively, new employees are more likely to behave in the spirit of the company, contributing to a cohesive workplace culture that people want to work in.
Preserving a Positive Work Environment
Most people want to do the right thing. The role of compliance training is twofold: It reinforces this good behavior and also dissuades those few employees who may be tempted to act inappropriately from acting at all. What’s more, when good behavior becomes a workplace virtue, team members feel more empowered to call out bad behavior and hold their peers accountable, which can be a serious boon to office culture.
By clarifying definitions and regulations, such as those around harassment, discrimination, fraud or negligence, compliance training can prevent employees from doing things that negatively impact those around them. The training process can also demonstrate to new employees that HR is available and ready to answer their questions, field their concerns, and mediate any conflicts. If your employees take this message to heart, they’ll turn to HR when issues arise, instead of making non-compliant moves that can cost the business and office culture down the line.
Clarifying Rule Changes
Rules can change and evolve quickly, and businesses should expect some employees to have trouble keeping up or just be plain resistant to change. That’s why it’s important to continuously adapt compliance training as norms evolve. As the workplace undergoes changes, make sure it’s clear to your team that their company is on their side and working for them.
Consider gift-giving: For a long time, it was common practice to woo prospective clients with lavish meals, entertainment, and other luxuries. Today, things are a bit different. In some offices, this sort of treatment is considered inappropriate – or, at worst, bribery. Does this mean everyone has stopped taking clients out? Not at all, but many companies have put a dollar maximum on client dinners or gifts that employees may accept. In the case of a change like this, routine compliance training can keep your teams up to speed and make sure employees are not non-compliant due to lack of awareness.
Connecting with Culture
Gift policies are simple when compared to the more pressing cultural issues an office may experience, such as sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, or microaggressions, to name just a few. Mitigating prohibited behavior is a constant challenge for HR departments, but it’s important to stay vigilant if you want to keep employees on board. Though not necessarily a cure-all solution, compliance training can be an invaluable tool to this end.
For organizations that want to ensure a healthy office culture – or transform one that has veered off course – customized compliance training can be particularly effective. Every office is different, with its own team dynamics, politics, and hierarchies. Tailored courses can account for these nuances and offer paths to compliance that make sense in the context of your team’s day-to-day.
Compliance training plays a crucial role in shaping and preserving a workplace where all employees feel safe and supported. With the right program, you can successfully retain talented employees and attract new ones.
Before your company can utilize compliance training to increase employee retention, you have to get employees to participate. Read this article for suggestions on how to foster active employee participation in compliance training.