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How to ensure compliance in the workplace in 8 steps

How to ensure compliance in the workplace in 8 steps

Keeping your company compliant is essential, and not only because it’s mandated by law. Non-compliance costs businesses $1.6 million per year on average, according to CYPHER’s 2024 compliance report

Knowing how to ensure compliance in the workplace is also crucial for employee physical and psychological safety, fighting discrimination, and protecting the company from legal issues.

However, compliance training is far from being anyone's favorite. The adjectives usually associated with it are: boring, dull, and outdated. Managers push for it because they have to, and employees begrudgingly comply, but there's generally no excitement on either side. Trainers are also not particularly fond of these sessions. While they fully understand why it matters, it's still daunting to have a room full of apprehensive learners.

With compliance being so important, it's time to up your instructional design game and make these modules engaging, short, and easy to understand. Long and tedious classroom presentations need to be replaced with more concise and to-the-point online courses that can keep learners’ attention.

What are the best practices for ensuring compliance in the workplace?

Each industry has its demands when it comes to workplace compliance. For example, there’s a big difference between safety measures in an office and on a construction site. Keeping to the specifics of your company, here are some of the best practices when it comes to compliance:

  • Document all your processes and procedures. The key to compliance in the workplace is to be clear on what this means. Employees should find the information easily and have no trouble understanding and applying it.
  • Reinforce compliance with training. Repetition is paramount when it comes to building the behaviors you desire. Ensure your employees benefit from short, engaging modules that remind them of all the rules and regulations they need to follow.
  • Use technology to make compliance easier. There are many tools designed specifically for your company’s compliance needs. Find the one that works best for you and promote it accordingly to get everyone on board with using it.
  • Focus on what employees should do, not on what they shouldn’t. While negative scenarios are generally remembered more than positive ones, the point of compliance is to teach your employees how they should act in various situations.

Read more: Practical employee training tips – a guide to defining your corporate training experience

How to ensure compliance in the workplace

Compliance is essential, and there is obviously no way around it. So, you must find creative ways to ensure compliance in the workplace. The first step is to create online training courses that are engaging and to the point. A generative learning platform will be your strongest ally.

Here are the steps for building learning content that will make compliance training more enjoyable and effective for learners, instructors, and managers alike:

1. Outline the compliance courses

The process is similar to any other course. You must figure out what the specific needs are. In the case of compliance, you'll need to look into the legislation governing the industry you are designing for. Many governing bodies have a list of criteria or competencies that learners must know to be compliant. Once you have a complete list of topics, see how many modules you'll have to build.

Avoid information overload at all costs. It's better to opt for smaller modules than to cram a lot in fewer sessions. Also, employees must retain and demonstrate what they have learned.

2. Create the compliance courses

The generative learning platform can do a lot of the heavy lifting. With CYPHER Learning, you can upload competencies from the governing body’s website and watch as AI 360 generates entire competency-mapped courses from them in just minutes. This saves tremendous time and money and decreases administrative drudgery. Competency-mapped material also makes it easy to track learner progress, understand which skills and competencies learners struggle with, and ensure mastery. AI 360 will even pull relevant videos and media from the internet to enhance learner comprehension and engagement, which you can tweak with the media picker, allowing you to sift through a variety of related media options.

Once AI 360 generates the course, you can easily fine-tune the modules, arrange them however you want, and create content pages. The generative learning platform’s built-in HTML editor allows for all kinds of media, from engaging images to video and audio content.

You have the opportunity to contradict the popular belief that compliance is boring by building rich and engaging content.

3. Personalize the courses required for compliance

Learning needs to be personalized, and compliance is no exception. The various functions in your company follow different regulations. The people working in the offices do not need to go through the rules for operating heavy machinery, while the employees having to operate it usually do not have to bother with the confidentiality of client information since they do not have access to it.

Trying to create personalized courses for a host of employees is a daunting challenge. However, with a generative learning platform that uses mastery learning and learning paths, you can easily individualize courses without draining time and resources.

For example, say all employees must enroll in the learning path “compliance training.” CYPHER enables you to hide and reveal specific modules and content depending on the learner’s job title. So, maybe the accountant and machine operator both complete the module “Anti-discrimination and diversity training,” but upon completion, the module “Safe machine operation” is revealed for the machine operator, and “Anti-bribery and Anti-corruption” is revealed for the accountant.

4. Establish the completion rules

Skipping various sections can be catastrophic. Learners could unintentionally ignore critical safety rules in a high-risk environment. It could also result in confusion over responsibilities, loss of a competitive edge, or even legal repercussions.

With CYPHER, you can designate sections as "required for course completion" to ensure learners cover all content. Lock modules until prerequisites are met, revealing them dynamically. Easily see competency mastery progress to ensure learners are on track. Plus, you can set gamification rules for completion – such as awarding badges or points that will allow learners to climb the leaderboard. Gamification is highly engaging and effective in keeping learners focused on the content.

5. Create quizzes for self-assessment

When it comes to compliance, there is little room for trial and error when discussing safety or legal matters. The safest way to test learners’ knowledge is through assessments that learners can take several times until they feel confident that they understand and remember all the relevant information from the course. CYPHER offers 16 different types of assessments – from quizzes to surveys, proctored assessments, and more – to ensure learners have the right tools to test their knowledge.

Ensure quizzes cover all of the relevant information so learners test themselves on the right concepts. After tagging the content and assignments with competencies, you can see an overview of how well your course covers the competencies. This is a great way to identify weak spots in the course content and help to ensure each competency is taught and assessed during the training.

Read more: 5 Use cases of training automation you should know about

6. Configure compliance actions

Rules and regulations change, so your compliance courses need updates as well. This means that learners need to retake compliance training regularly. It’s important to keep track of everyone's activity so your company does not face possible legal repercussions for not following the rules.

Because CYPHER is a cloud-based system, any updates you make to course material will be automatically reflected across learners’ portals, ensuring they see the most up-to-date content at all times.

CYPHER enables you to set the duration of compliance, automatically re-enroll learners in courses, or set re-enrollment reminders a few days/weeks before their compliance expires. For example, a particular course can expire after six months and employees get a notification 30 days in advance, so they’ll have plenty of time to prepare for training.

7. Set reminders for learners

People will react better to any type of training if they have time to prepare. If they have to add online courses to an already busy schedule, employees are more likely to be unengaged.

However, CYPHER helps prepare learners by displaying the compliance courses on the learner dashboard and sending them reminders in advance. By displaying the courses and important due dates on the dashboard, they always know what to do to be compliant. Providing them with a deadline allows users to choose when they go through the modules, and this sense of autonomy is great for engagement.

You can also send inactivity reminders. If a learner is inactive in a compliance course for more than five days, but it is not yet completed, they may have forgotten about it. Sending these reminders can help both the learner and the company stay on track to be in compliance.

8. Generate compliance reports

Compliance reports are incredibly useful, both for internal and external audits. CYPHER provides over 60 built-in reports, including the Course Compliance report, which lists the courses and the compliance of the users enrolled in them.

You can run custom reports if you need more advanced data. For example, generate a custom report if you want to see which compliance courses offer certificates of completion or the learners from a specific department who have completed a compliance course. Through regular generation and analysis of compliance reports, you can identify instances of non-compliance, whether intentional or unintentional. 

Enhance visibility by incorporating report widgets that display custom charts directly on the dashboard. Having all the information at your fingertips will make it much easier to ensure workplace compliance, make informed decisions, evaluate the effectiveness of compliance training, and refine strategies.

Read more: The true cost of rulebreakers in workplace compliance

The generative learning platform is your compliance ally

To ensure a compliant work environment, make the most of online training. CYPHER Learning is your best bet for compliance mastery, keeping track of compliance courses, setting reminders for employees to complete training, and automatically enrolling learners in courses, among many other benefits. The bonus is that learners will also enjoy taking compliance training in a gamified training environment, where they can easily test their knowledge and complete modules at their own pace.