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5 ways to step up your compliance management

Non-compliance is costly. Hefty fines, data breaches, and new regulations understandably tend to grab the compliance headlines, but there is also a cost associated with missed opportunity. Compliance isn’t just about getting employees to do something they don’t want to do (take boring, outdated compliance training) in order to avoid something your organization doesn’t want to do (pay fines, clean up messes). Instead, solving modern compliance challenges can be a vehicle for real behavioral and cultural change – and for driving growth, both for the organization and the individual.

Here are five areas of focus that can help you take early-stage compliance initiatives to the next level.

1. Reduce risk by ditching the spreadsheet

“Ticking the box” gets a bad rap, but when it comes to, say, making sure your pilots or food-handlers are properly trained, it’s pretty important to tick those boxes. Relying on manual processes and spreadsheets for reporting on those boxes, however, introduces unnecessary risk and increases the likelihood of data silos. If an audit does occur, it can take a prohibitive amount of time to manually go through records and find documentation for the auditor that demonstrates compliance. A tool that can automatically log every completed course, training, or re-certification into an internal system is the preferred, low-risk option.

2. Keep up with changing regulations

Regulations are constantly changing. It’s important to have a compliance solution equipped with advanced course management and versioning capabilities. That makes it quicker and easier for administrators to create, modify, disseminate, and track different versions of training courses whenever regulatory changes happen. Plus, with the right versioning capabilities, you can also keep track of who in your team has completed updated training modules versus those who still need to do so.

3. Make compliance training accessible

Complexity is the enemy of compliance. Introduce too many steps for your learners to take required training, make it unclear what’s expected, or demand too much of their time, and your training completion rates will almost certainly suffer. Instead, meet your learners where they are – on the platforms they actually use – and deliver training in a format that best supports their needs. Keep it simple – for your learners and your admins.

“Cornerstone’s superpower, I think, is making compliance accessible,” says Sarah Thompson, Director of Learning Technology at Whole Foods.

4. Make compliance training enjoyable (not a typo)

Dry, droning content will result in glazed eyes and limited retention. This may still result in a short-term completion boost, but it makes it less likely that your employees will seek out other learning opportunities on their own – or be excited to come back the next time they get a mandatory compliance assignment.

Look for high-quality, customizable content that is available in a wide range of format, including microlearning. A little production value can go a long way. This is an opportunity to go beyond the box-ticking and drive real behavior change.

In a recent study, a Cornerstone customer shared this feedback from a learner: “This year’s anti-harassment training was hands-down the best training I’ve ever attended in my career. It was proactive, thoughtful, and full of amazing advice and realistic example. I found myself thinking about it over the entire weekend. It stuck with me… [The] training has me seriously thinking and considering ways I can grow and do better every day.”

5. Connect compliance to your culture

“Compliance is key to creating a great company culture. It touches every single thing that an employee does,” says labor attorney Heather Bussing. “…Leadership often views culture initiatives as optional or something to be cut when budgets are tight but, in reality, great culture is foundational to getting work done. Focusing on compliance as an integral part of bigger strategy helps leadership shift their mindset and see its significance for all areas of business.”

The connection between compliance and your learning culture is particularly critical. The bulk of your learning right now may be compliance-centric, but as you expand beyond compliance, you’ll be a step ahead if your people already associate learning with unlocking growth and potential rather than just ticking mandatory boxes.

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Reclaim Your Compliance Training


Reclaim Your Compliance Training

We are conditioned to view compliance as a check-the-box exercise rather than an opportunity to drive growth and increase performance. Compliance is what our teams have to do so they can keep doing the work they (hopefully) like to do. Too often, training materials are dry, dense, and dated.

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