Giovanni Gallo is the Co-CEO of ComplianceLine, 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.
Employee compliance is an important part of every business. When employees comply with company and industry standards and regulations, everything runs smoothly and safely. When employees don’t comply, however, your business can be at risk for workplace injuries, noncompliance fines, lawsuits, and a whole host of other problems.
No HR professional wants their employees to be noncompliant. But unfortunately, HR professionals work largely with something that is outside their control: other people. You can’t force employees to comply if they don’t want to, but you can encourage a compliant workplace culture that keeps everyone safe and happy – here’s how to do it.
1. Make Compliance Training Interesting
Employee training is your first opportunity to stress to your workforce just how important it is to be compliant. Typically, employees are in training because they’re newly hired or because there is a new compliance policy to learn. This initial introduction is a great time for you to instill some good habits in your team, making compliance at the office feel like second nature.
The problem is this: your employees will never engage in compliance training if it is too boring. Too often, compliance training is a dry, dull lecture about how an employee is supposed to behave. Employees are likely to tune out after a while of hearing this and that means all your valuable knowledge won’t stick in their brains.
You can avoid this by giving employees something to do during training, such as:
Playing games as a teaching method is a tried-and-true tactic used by compliance trainers and kindergarten teachers alike. When your employees participate in an activity that’s fun and engaging, they are simply more likely to retain the information they learned in the process.
Consider giving your training a fun theme and building your training units around it. Conduct a “Jeopardy”-style quiz show at the end of each training day. Ask your employees to act out skits to illustrate compliance scenarios. These fun activities will help your employees remember their training, and they’ll have fun while doing it.
We just mentioned skits as a fun activity you can use to zhuzh up your training. But this particular activity can actually be useful for another reason: skits allow your employees to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
Empathy can be a powerful tool for compliance. When employees have an emotional connection to an issue (for example, discrimination or harassment), they are more likely to comply with company standards that prohibit this behavior. By asking employees to empathize with one another (through skits, stories, etc.), you can encourage an environment where your workforce is aware of – and looking out for – each other’s feelings.
2. Make Training Digestible and Accessible
Anyone who has gone through a long, drawn-out training session knows that these days can be EXHAUSTING. By the time you head home for the day, it can be impossible to remember what you even learned about company compliance. Instead of asking employees to learn the ins and outs of compliance all at once, it can be more effective to break your training into small chunks.
Additionally, it is important to remember that many of today’s employees aren’t in your office. Remote work is on the rise, and numerous workers never actually set foot in the corporate office of their employer. Therefore, training must be accessible online – and it must be available from any device (computer, tablet, smartphone).
One of the best ways to provide quick, digestible compliance training is through short online videos. These videos should be hyper-focused (for example, they should only cover one compliance issue) and short enough for employees to watch them during a quick break.
If you make your training videos short, digestible, and accessible, employees can review them whenever they choose. Some may watch them at the office, others may watch them at home after work. Allowing employees to view training videos on their own time ensures that they are ready to pay attention and take in the information when they sit down to watch it – and if they don’t understand a policy or concept, they can always rewatch!
3. Post Reminders
Even if you offer the most engaging, most informative, and most successful compliance training ever, your employees are still going to forget some things. This is simply human nature: your employees are busy thinking about other things all day, and therefore the things they DON’T do (like actively review compliance policies) start to fall by the wayside.
You can avoid this forgetfulness over time by giving your employees little reminders to keep compliance at the top of their minds. This can be done through:
Do you want your employees to remember safety requirements at the office? Place an infographic in the office reminding them! Want to encourage a supportive and equitable workplace? A poster with your company’s mission statement can be a great reminder (and nice décor). Posting these small reminders throughout your facility ensures that compliance is always on the brain.
Your remote staff makes up an ever-growing part of your company’s workforce. Most of these employees will never see the infographics and posters in your office, but they still need to comply with industry regulations and standards. How can you make sure that all your employees are in compliance, even when they are working from home?
A monthly newsletter can be a great way to remind employees of company and industry standards. You can alert your staff of policy changes, reporting systems for misconduct, and other compliance related issues – all through one email message.
4. Check in with Employees
Most HR professionals don’t see their co-workers on a regular basis. They see colleagues from other departments when they conduct trainings, when they receive complaints, and perhaps during the hiring and exiting processes. But outside of those occasions, most of the workforce is on their own – and this means you might not know when someone is struggling with compliance issues.
Make it a habit to talk with employees to check in and see how they’re doing. Make sure they know that you are available to them for any compliance issues, and simply make sure that they’re managing the stressors of their work life. This simple act of kindness can foster a sense of trust between managers and employees, which makes them more likely to come to you when they experience noncompliance.
Foster a Culture of Compliance
Compliance is an essential part of every business, but it depends on the cooperation of every employee. With these tips, you can ensure that your company fosters a culture of compliance, safety, and fairness.
If you liked this blog post about “Expectations of Employees from their Managers”, you can receive our regular updates and get a free job description template by clicking below