8 Problems In Your Compliance Training (And How To Solve Them)

8 Problems In Your Compliance Training (And How To Solve Them)
Summary: Compliance training is a problem itself, for some companies. It’s the training that makes employees cringe. The one that always falls short, even though you try to cover all possible angles. This article will help you figure out what you’re doing wrong and fix it.

What You Need To Fix In Your Compliance Training

There are many ways compliance training might fail. Employees sulkily sitting through a seminar, bored to the core, can’t be called a success. A lawsuit against your company for discrimination indicates someone didn’t take your diversity policy seriously. A fine for mishandling customer data means your data security training didn’t have the desired learning outcome.

Whether it’s money, customers, or the way employees feel about your workplace, each incident of non-compliance costs you something. That’s why it’s important to identify the reasons corporate compliance training fails before a lawsuit tips you the news. Keep your eyes open for the following 8 compliance training problems that could sabotage your effort.

1. You Cover Too Much Too Soon

There’s nothing wrong with incorporating compliance into onboarding, provided that your onboarding process lasts at least six months—not two weeks. Too much compliance training too soon can overwhelm employees both psychologically and mentally. At this point, they won’t be able to understand how it relates to them either, so they’ll forget most of it soon after. Plus, they’ll get the impression they’ve entered a strict and bleak workplace.

A wiser approach is to start with the compliance topics that matter most to your company. For instance, COI compliance is a burning issue for financial institutions, but health and safety are critical in healthcare. Next, cover the basics for topics that are less urgent but still important, such as cybersecurity. Save company policies, like diversity and anti-harassment, for later. Also, offering compliance online training using an LMS will allow employees to go through the training at a pace they find comfortable.

2. The Courses Are Too Long

Long courses are a problem for so many reasons. One, they impede the workflow and strain employees. Two, they are usually boring and fail to engage employees. And three, which is not a problem but a fact, long courses are pointless. Why? The volume of compliance training (hours spent) is, according to employers, irrelevant to the effectiveness of training.

You can create more focused training by resisting the temptation to add blubber. Include only relevant and useful information, eliminating anything that doesn’t aid comprehension or provide context. To stick to this rule, break courses into bite-sized lessons that answer one question at a time. If you still want to offer nice-to-have information, include it in the additional resources section.

3. The Courses Don’t Allow For Practice

Some employees need to follow safety procedures daily. Others will have to confront and report inappropriate behaviors, and everyone must know how to respond quickly during an emergency. In other words, employees will need to put their compliance training into practice. But how will they do so if they’ve learned by watching and not by doing? A course that doesn’t allow for practice is wildly ineffective.

You have many options to facilitate practice during training. For safety topics, on-the-job training and mock drills are essential. These will help employees follow everyday safety precautions and act swiftly during an emergency. For training that focuses on behavioral expectations, role-playing exercises during ILT sessions, as well as branching scenarios and simulations, will help employees internalize new behaviors.

4. Some Courses Are Too Difficult

Some compliance topics include information that doesn’t correspond to the knowledge level of your workforce. This is often the case with technical topics, like cybersecurity. But it can be true for all types of compliance training if they go into detail about the legislation behind the policies. However, a difficult course will overload employees with information they don’t even need to learn.

To avoid this, always ask yourself if the content is suitable for your audience. Your employees are not legal professionals who need to know corporate law before they can learn about COI compliance. If necessary, create different courses for different departments. For example, your IT staff needs advanced cybersecurity training, but the rest of your employees can get away with learning some basic security best practices.

5. The Content Is Too Plain

There are interesting ways to say that something is boring. Similarly, there are interesting ways to discuss something that is boring. Compliance training has a reputation for being tedious because rules themselves are. So don’t make matters worse by offering training as a series of printed manuals or lengthy seminars. With so many educational tools available, there’s no excuse for boring employee training anymore.

Using an LMS to deliver training, you can create simulations and games so that employees interact with the content and learn more effectively. Add badges and levels to spark competition and reward employees for showing up and participating. Create microlearning videos to offer quick tips and simplify learning, and start discussion forums where employees can help each other learn. Training platforms give you so many options to create training exactly like you imagined it!

6. The Content Is Outdated

Compliance training should be frequently updated to include the latest company policies and keep up with changing regulations and laws. Offering inaccurate information is irresponsible and potentially dangerous. In the case of regulatory compliance, it can cost you money and reputation.

A good way to ensure your training is always up to date is to buy ready-made courses, which are developed by SMEs according to official standards and requirements. It’s a big plus if you can find customizable courses so that you can add content to make the course more relevant to your company or more engaging.

7. You Don’t Have A Tracking System In Place

When it comes to employee compliance, you need to know where everybody stands. To do so, you need a tracking system that’s easier to use and gives better data than a spreadsheet. Tracking training will also help you find out what’s wrong with your training. For example, employees might not want to admit that a course is too hard. But your metrics reveal that most of them barely managed to pass the course.

Using an LMS with an automatic report generator, you’ll get accurate insights and the data that you need. An LMS with certification management will also track training on your behalf, as it will automatically reassign courses with expired certifications. Quizzes—although, strictly speaking, they aren’t a tracking system—can help you spot potential knowledge gaps and parts of the course that were too easy or too difficult.

8. Some Course Topics Are Just Very Sad

Nobody wants to sit through an ominous course that discusses accidents and the whole range of disasters that might hit the workplace, from earthquakes to armed robbery. But how can you create an employee training program that raises awareness and educates without terrifying employees or worsening fears they might already have?

An LMS proves once again to be a versatile training solution. Games, branching scenarios, and simulations allow for some fascinating storytelling where dangers and disasters can be framed as adventures, and employees can be the heroes fighting villains and nature. Reward all employees with a badge for bravery and honor top achievers with a superhero badge, and emergency preparedness training won’t be a downer anymore.


A lot of what can go wrong with compliance training is associated with the use of antiquated, inflexible training methods, like long-day seminars, whose most impressive achievement is how much they can bore and frustrate even the most eager employees.

Using compliance training software, you can avoid most of these 8 mistakes. An LMS enables you to deliver engaging compliance online training that allows for practice and interactions with an online instructor and fellow learners. Plus, with automated reporting tools and certification management, you can stay on top of compliance and your training too.

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