How to Make Compliance Training Entertaining


Last Updated: August 16th, 2021

Guest Post by Giovanni Gallo

Compliance training is an important part of running a successful business. . . but, if we’re being honest, it’s rarely the most fun part of running a business. Your employees do need to understand your company’s rules and industry regulations, but telling them a dry list of standards is a surefire way to bore them all to sleep. 

Why is that a problem? If your employees don’t engage with your compliance training, they almost certainly won’t remember it. If you want your employees (and your business) to align with compliance standards, you’ll need to make training a lot more fun and engaging.

What is compliance training?

Before we can talk about how to make compliance training entertaining, let’s make sure we understand exactly what compliance training is. This term refers to a specific type of employee training, which teaches your team the rules they must follow to adhere to company policies, industry standards, and local and federal regulations.

All your employees are representatives for your company — and that means that if one of them breaks a compliance rule, your business is the one that will suffer. This can lead to lawsuits, regulatory fines, and many other repercussions. This is why compliance training is so important; when employees are properly trained, they can avoid non-compliance issues that affect the organization as a whole.

Challenges with training and engagement

Despite the clear importance of compliance training, many businesses find this training incredibly difficult to pull off successfully. The issue comes from three main challenges:

  • Insufficient training time — Most companies offer compliance training only once a year. Because these trainings are so infrequent and so information-heavy, it’s no surprise that employees tend to forget what they’ve learned between training sessions. Additionally, many industries see new and updated regulations constantly, which means that old training information is often irrelevant by the next session.
  • Completion over retention — Businesses know that they have to train their employees on industry compliance standards. However, too often they offer training sessions intending to “cover their bases.” In other words, they present the information because they have to legally, but they give little thought to how they present it.
  • Lack of interest — This challenge tends to go hand in hand with the one before it. After all, if managers don’t care about compliance training, why should the employees? Most workers can tell when their company values training material, and if they don’t get a sense of importance they’re not going to care about the information.

When businesses are faced with these challenges, they have two options: continue with the current system (and hope no one accidentally breaks a major regulation) or make their compliance training program more interesting.

How to make compliance training engaging

Is it even possible to make compliance training engaging? Absolutely! Here are a few easy tips to help you transform your training program into one that your employees will both enjoy and remember long after the training ends.

Divide training into small chunks

One of the most difficult things about compliance training is how dense it can be. There are lots of regulations to learn, and teaching them one after another is a quick way to make your trainees’ eyes glaze over.

Instead of tackling the training all at once (remember, we’re aiming for retention, not just completion), consider breaking the training up into smaller sections. This will give your trainees a chance to take a break and process the information they’ve learned — which will make them more likely to fully absorb the lesson.

Gamify the learning experience

There is a reason why teachers use games to teach their students: games are a great way to get people engaging with the material! 

Quiz your trainees Jeopardy-style, Have them “spot the problem” in a skit or image. You can even host a contest to design compliance slogans for the office. With these kinds of games, you are having your employees study the compliance information in an entertaining way. And when people have fun playing a game or working on a project, they are much more likely to remember the information they learned.

Use video

One of the great things about the digital age is we can easily incorporate a variety of media into our training programs. Training doesn’t have to be a bunch of bored workers listening to a lecture in a conference room anymore. Instead, you can mix it up with fun and interesting training videos.

Videos can be a great way to explain compliance concepts in a fresh way that more of your team will understand. A video is also easy to rewatch; you can email training videos to your team so they can reference them later and brush up on their compliance policies.

Make it interactive

One of the biggest problems that comes with the “completion over retention” mindset is the way it excludes employees from the training process. If completion is your goal, you’re going to share the information and get on with your day — without even stopping to ask the trainees if they have any questions.

If you want your employees to retain their training, they must play an active role in it. Have discussions about various compliance regulations. Ask them questions and take questions from them in response. This will ensure that your trainees pay a little more attention and that your training will stick.

Keep it realistic

Finally, it is very important that your training relates to the work your trainees do each day. Compliance affects everyone in your business, so make sure your employees understand how these standards impact their daily routine.

Use realistic examples of how an employee can practice compliance in the office. Give examples of non-compliance, to demonstrate what not to do. If you ground these concepts in the tasks your workers do every day, they are much more likely to incorporate compliance practices into their work.

With these tips, you can craft an effective and entertaining compliance program — and your employees and your business will be all the better for it!

Giovanni Gallo is the co-CEO of ComplianceLine, where his team strives to make the world a better workplace with compliance hotline services, sanction, and license monitoring, and workforce eLearning software and services.

Growing up as the son of a Cuban refugee in an entrepreneurial family taught Gio how servanthood and deep care for employees can make a thriving business a platform for positive change in the world. He built on that through experience with startups and multinational organizations so ComplianceLine’s solutions can empower caring leaders to build strong cultures for the betterment of every employee and their community.

When he’s not working, Gio’s wrangling his four young kids, riding his motorcycle, and supporting education, families, and the homeless in the Charlotte community.

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