7 Tips To Use Animations In Compliance Online Training Without Trivializing The Topic

7 Tips To Use Animations In Compliance Online Training Without Trivializing The Topic
Summary: Cartoons, comics, and animated re-enactments add a dash of entertainment to compliance online training. How do you lighten the tone without making light of the subject matter?

Boost Your Compliance Online Training With Apt Animations

A scheming coyote and a sharp-witted roadrunner probably aren’t the best fit for your compliance online course. However, there is a place for animations in your compliance online training course. First, you must decide which part they play and how to incorporate them into your design without causing offense. You want to engage employees and offer a new perspective on the training topic. Is there a way to emphasize the gravity of the situation and still bring a smile to their face? Here are 7 tips to use animations in compliance online training without trivializing the topic.

7 Secrets To Use Animations In Your Compliance Training Course

1. Find The Right Amount Of Realism

Incorporate characters that are relatable but still generic enough to appeal to the masses. Personas that are too niche may alienate employees because they can’t see themselves in the character. On the other hand, characters that lack personality make employees feel disconnected from the course. The goal is to attain a certain level of realism so that employee training participants immerse in the situation and get a different point of view. That said, showing hyper-realistic broken bones or horrific on-the-job accidents probably isn’t the best idea, even if the scenarios are feasible and animated.

2. Don’t Provide Too Much Backstory

Employees don’t need to know why the animated character is wearing a purple shirt or what they ate for lunch. Your compliance online training resources should include the need to know information and omit unnecessary backstories. Sure, you want employee training participants to feel for the character and their struggles, but there is a TMI limit. They need to focus on compliance issues, policies, and protocols in a real-world context. Divulging the character’s love life or their disdain for a co-worker just serves as a distraction. Plus, it trivializes the subject matter by turning it into an L&D soap opera.

3. Choose A Tone And Stick With It

Decide which mood you want to evoke and how you’re going to achieve it through animation. Then stick with this tone from start to finish. For example, you use subtle touches of humor in the beginning but suddenly transition to melodrama halfway through. Employees don’t know what to expect or even what to feel at that point. Create a storyboard to map out every scene and chart the main character’s story arc. Identity the message and emotion you need to convey and select the best delivery method.

4. Consider The Subject Matter

The training topic plays a crucial role in the creation process. Some subjects are more conducive to lighthearted humor and satire than others. For instance, sexual harassment or anti-bullying training requires you to tread lightly. There’s no room for jokes or quirky characters that victimize victims all over again, not to mention make your entire staff uncomfortable. However, the company dress code leaves more room for playful jabs and laughter at the company’s expense, for example poking fun at the animated employee in a 1990s uniform (complete with a neon green fanny pack). Nobody gets hurt and you can segue into modern company uniforms and why it’s important to adhere to the guidelines.

5. Use Music To Set The Mood And Inspire Emotion

Music ties everything together and makes compliance online training animations multisensory. It gives employees audio cues to influence their mood and perception of the topic. For example, uplifting background tracks indicate the character has finally overcome the compliance challenge and learned their lesson. While tense music tells them there’s a conflict looming or that they should avoid the displayed behaviors. Just avoid over-the-top music that doesn’t fit the scenario. Operatic or techno audio clips will steal the show instead of supporting the subject matter.

6. Involve A Content Provider With Experience In Your Niche

You can develop compliance online training animations in-house, but that requires design experience and the right authoring tool. Or you can outsource the task to an animation content provider with experience in your niche and industry. Preferably, one that is aware of local rules/regulations or can quickly familiarize themselves with your regional compliance policies. View samples of their past work to see if they’re a good fit, and set up a meeting to discuss your budget, scope, and objectives.

7. Remember That Cultural Background Plays A vital Role

The subject matter may give you plenty of creative freedom. It’s not a controversial or touchy topic that makes you feel like you’re walking on animated eggshells. Even still, you need to think about employee backgrounds and experiences. Some cultures may find your animation offensive, or they can’t relate because it involves ''inside jokes'' or unfamiliar societal norms. Survey your audience to identify the parameters of your compliance online training animations. How far can you take the humor? Which characters might make them feel uncomfortable or out of place? Are there specific scenarios that are off-limits and you should avoid at all costs? You might even put out some sample compliance online training resources to see what they think and request their honest feedback. This test group can help you iron out the issues before you launch the content for your global team.


''Laughing with instead of at'' is apt for compliance online training animations. You want employees to feel connected to the content and build comradery with their peers. To know that they’re not alone in these challenges and that others have made similar mistakes. But they must still understand the impact violations have on your organization, their co-workers, and themselves. Use these tips to create compliance online training resources that engage employees without trivializing the topic or making light of serious offenses. Take cultural backgrounds into consideration and let the subject matter guide your animation design.

Compliance online training doesn’t have to be policy-heavy or involve hours of company manual reading. If you want to discover more ideas about how to make your compliance online training more engaging for your employees, read 7 Social Learning Examples To Integrate Into Your Compliance Online Training Course and learn how social learning gives you the opportunity to mitigate risks and foster knowledge sharing across your organization.