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Why won’t they comply? Enough is enough – time to take action

Guest blogger and Towards Maturity’s Managing Director Laura Overton urges organisations to take action to transform their compliance training.

For too long staff have been subjected to dull, repetitive ‘tick in the box’ compliance training rather than experiences that encourage behavioural changes in business. For topics that are so essential for risk mitigation and business survival, we believe it’s time to rethink our approach to compliance training before it’s too late!

Every organisation has to comply with regulations of some sort, and for some this will be a matter of life and death (such as oil & gas and health sectors). For other heavily regulated sectors such as finance, the ability to demonstrate compliance is an essential factor for companies to operate. Health and safety, corporate social responsibility, diversity and equality are all areas where businesses want to focus for happy, healthy staff.

The evidence is mounting

Over the last 10 years, our own studies show that compliance related training is often the first foray that an organisation has with online learning. In fact in 2012, the Towards Maturity Benchmark shows that over 50% of our total compliance related programmes are e-enabled in some way and nearly 90% of us want learning technologies to help improve efficiency in delivering compliance. Despite that focus, only 50% believe that online compliance training is delivering the efficiencies we are looking for, let alone the behaviours.

In August last year, Charles Jennings published a blog post on ‘Compliance training – does it really work?’  He found that for many organisations, compliance learning is just a tick in the box exercise. But for success, we have to look at changing behaviours, not just proving attendance.

Clive Shepherd also takes up this call for the shift from compliance to competency as a critical success factor in his free-book Transforming Learning. How can compliance training be designed to shift attitudes and behaviours? How can staff be assessed on their ability to apply learning and not just remember information?

Enough is enough – it’s time for action!

As a benchmarking organisation, Towards Maturity are keen to help organisations change this around, not through hype but through a simple but systematic three-step approach:

  • Review: It’s important to take time out to honestly reflect on our current approaches. What’s working? What isn’t working?
  • Compare: What are successful organisations doing, and can we use this to build a business case for change?
  • Act: How can we use this understanding to take action?

Over the next four weeks, we are conducting two benchmarking initiatives to help us identify how we can apply these steps to shift our initiatives from compliance training to building competency and influencing attitudes.

Review and compare: take part in a new online benchmark

Over the next four weeks, we are conducting a new international benchmark study to understand how we can improve the impact of compliance training. We want to help you review your current approach to identify effective practices that really make a difference and to share them through a new report due to be published in July 2013.

The independent study (sponsored by SAI Global) builds on our benchmark research over the last 10 years with 2200 organisations together with input from practitioners, our Ambassadors and thought leaders such as Charles Jennings and Clive Shepherd.

The study is open until 8th May.

Act:  join our upcoming interactive event

The ability to honestly review our own approaches is just the beginning of the journey – we need to also change the way that we are doing things as a result of what we discover. That’s the tough part, and sometimes we need moral support and motivation to do things differently.  This is why we’ve teamed up with founding Ambassador at Epic to bring people together at a practical, interactive event: ‘Why won’t they comply?’

So we’d like to invite you to informally benchmark and network with colleagues face-to-face at a new LearningNow event in London on the 1st May 2013.

In this brand-new event, we’ll run interactive sessions to take a closer look at how to harness technology effectively to rethink compliance training, tackling subjects such as supporting performance, changing behaviour, overcoming barriers and engaging stakeholders. We’ll also hear from compliance experts such as Charles Jennings and Simon Brown, Head of Learning Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group.

We hope to see you there.

Make April your time for action.  Review and compare where you are today by sharing the link for the new compliance benchmark survey. Take action by registering for our free LearningNow event on 1st May. 

This post was written by Laura Overton and first appeared on the Epic blog on 8th April 2013.