How To Gamify Compliance Training And Make It Awesome

How To Gamify Compliance Training And Make It Awesome
Summary: Compliance training is probably one of the most boring phrases an employee will ever hear. Think about the last time you had to take mandatory compliance training at your organization? The first reaction is probably “what a waste of time” or “I am so busy I am just going to click through it as fast as I can.” We all know how that feels. But what are you supposed to do if you’re required to complete mandatory training for compliance?

Awesome And Applicable: How To Gamify Compliance Training

Let’s talk more about the concept of gamification and how it can be applied to your compliance training program. For new employees, this is especially important to know the procedures and protocols required by your organization to meet regulations.

eBook Release: How To Make Training Awesome: Your New Employee Onboarding Checklist
eBook Release
How To Make Training Awesome: Your New Employee Onboarding Checklist
Learn insider tips to banish the boredom and boost new hire engagement!

Compliance Training Topics

Every business, and every industry, has different compliance training requirements. Healthcare has HIPAA, Utilities have NERC CIP, GDPR, PCI, CCPA, etc. and the list goes on! Depending on the industry, you might even have to comply with certain industry specific requirements.

Your employees don’t have the same goals in mind as your organization. Learn how to utilize goal alignment to get better results in your compliance training.

Setting Goals For Compliance

Getting through an audit isn’t easy. There is so much to do and stakes are high with potential compliance violations lingering. But just because compliance is a serious subject doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun getting there. It’s important to recognize that gaining your employees’ attention for compliance exercises is not the easiest.

Let’s look at the two different types of goals and how we can align them: Institutional Goals and Individual Goals.

An institutional goal is set to meet the needs of the company. So for example, passing a SOC 2 audit could be an institutional goal to meet compliance. This is important for the company for a variety of reasons.

While institutional goals make a lot of sense for the business, they almost never directly align with an individual goal for each of your team members. The employees most likely don’t care if you pass a SOC 2 audit. They won’t lose their jobs, they’ll still get paychecks, etc. So you need to figure out ways to motivate them to help the organization become compliant. This type of goal is designed to get each individual employee aligned to a common institutional goal and work together.

Creating A Culture Of Compliance

Now that you understand the principles behind aligning goals, how do we work towards building a culture of compliance? We have all heard quite a bit about a company establishing a culture of compliance, but what does that actually mean? It helps to understand the process of compliance to gain some insights into why building a culture of compliance is so important.

FAILDOZER ALERT: Setting up a “Culture of Silence” is typically brought on by having a poor compliance culture based on fear. Instead of penalizing mistakes, use them as a learning opportunity to make your compliance program better.

During your first compliance experience you are going to find a lot of mistakes. A great compliance program is designed to do the following things. Identify, Assess, Correct. Identifying mistakes is the first part of a great program. In this stage you are educating your employees on how to find any issues, figure out what could cause them, then create a way to correct them from happening again.

This process can be fun to have employees working together to fix processes and make working fun. Your training program should cover how your organization works to find compliance issues and create a culture of compliance all working towards a common goal.

How To Make Compliance Fun With Gamification

We learned earlier that setting individual goals is the way to establish an institutional goal. So how can we get individuals to perform? The concept of gamification is a way to motivate individuals or teams to work towards a goal. It’s a common misconception that gamification means playing games. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Gamification principles can be designed in a way to help you get your compliance initiatives completed while giving your employees a clear deadline of what you want completed. So as we are going through an audit, we may want to incentivize our employees along the way. This process of mini-milestones and checkpoints is the start of the processes of gamification. The achievements that are earned can be at the company, department, or individual level. Whatever your goals are, you can create friendly competition amongst employees.

Gamification is not the only way to make compliance fun. Think about the experience your employees are going through. It’s typically not the most fun activity in the world to complete your required compliance training. But if you can bring it to life through storytelling, gamification, and other ideas it can be a fun adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • If your organization doing training just to check the box for compliance, you need to hit pause because ‘being in compliance’ does not equal good security
  • Work with your executive leadership team and department stakeholders to define both institutional and individual goals to go beyond compliance requirements and build a culture of security
  • With gamification, think about how to rally employees around their training and incentivize them for participation


Most compliance training just is filled with boring rules, regulations, and a quiz. Think about ways you can utilize that training in the real-world, and how you can make learning and applying compliance the ultimate goal. When employees get rewarded for good behaviors, you can start to get more buy-in from other employees wanting to do the right thing.

We wrote the eBook How To Make Training Awesome: Your New Employee Onboarding Checklist, so you can jump around to the parts of this book to find the information you need to be successful with your new employee training. Each chapter ends with key takeaways, and you can also replay our webinar where we discuss how to incorporate storytelling into your employee training.