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4 Amazing Ways To Uplift Boring Compliance Training With Microlearning

March 13, 2019 | By Asha Pandey


If you are looking for ways to make your compliance training compelling and interesting, read on! In this article, I show you how you can uplift your compliance training with microlearning and, successfully, meet your mandate.

How To Uplift Boring Compliance Training With Microlearning

Compliance training is crucial training for organizations that are mandated to comply with the policies and procedures from Govt or Regulatory bodies. The compliance training requires 100% conformance, and it must be completed a certain number of times during the year.

As a result, opting for an online mode of training to deliver and track compliance training makes tremendous sense. It enables organizations to roll out the training to the entire workforce at the same time, easily track their progress, and timely completion. The online assessments enable them to track the scores easily. Additionally, they can secure employees’ attestation on the mandate. All good so far, so where is the catch?

What Are The Issues In Compliance Training Design Because Of Which It Doesn’t Sit Well With The Learners?

Our compliance practice is now 18 years old and till date, one in six courses on the floor is for a compliance mandate. Over these years, we have seen a few issues with the way compliance trainings are designed, and why they tend to be boring.

  • If we look at the learner’s view, there is no intrinsic motivation to take up compliance training.
  • As the training is mandatory, more often than not, the learning strategies are rather predictable ones (read, boring).
  • The tone also tends to be a bit preachy or prescriptive that does not sit well with adult learners.

I am sure you see the paradox here. While the compliance training is crucial for the organizations, there isn’t enough focus on adopting learning strategies that can engage the learners and at the end of the training, they have a clear idea of why they must comply.

What Kind Of Approach Can Ensure Success In Meeting Your Compliance Mandate?

The impact of compliance training can increase manifold if the following strategies were adopted to:

  • Create awareness, prior to the roll-out of the training, to offset the intrinsic lack of motivation and ensure that the learners are cued into the significance of the compliance mandate. This message should be able to highlight the significance of the training for the organization as well for each employee.
  • Connect with learners in an interesting and relatable manner.
  • Ensure the learning strategy enables learners to assimilate the learning and, more significantly, retain it and apply it.
  • Provide cues to reconnect with learners to reinforce the message (over a period of time, this would trigger the desired behavioral change).

We have experimented with a wide spectrum of learning strategies (including microlearning in compliance training) that have helped our customers meet their mandate successfully.

Of late, we see an increase in the usage of microlearning in compliance training. In this article, I show you how you too can use the microlearning-based approach to uplift your compliance training.

What Is Microlearning, And What Is Driving Its Adoption?

What Is Microlearning?

As the name suggests, microlearning-based training uses short, bite-sized learning nuggets.

  • Seat time/Run length: They are typically 2-5 mins long (not exceeding 7 mins).
  • Focus: Each microlearning nugget will have an associated outcome.
  • Delivery: Depending on the focus and the usage, they can be delivered as a one-off nugget or multiple nuggets that are connected through a learning path.

Where And How Can Microlearning Be Used?

Today, microlearning is being used extensively to address a majority of the corporate training needs, and they are a great fit for:

  1. Formal training
  2. Performance Support
  3. Informal learning
  4. Social or collaborative learning

Why Is It Gaining Momentum?

Microlearning resonates very well with learners on account of the following key benefits:

  1. It offers tremendous flexibility to consume the training “on the go” and on the device of the learners’ choice.
  2. Given its granularity, it can be personalized.
  3. The learning path can have microlearning nuggets in different formats (notably videos) that keep the learners hooked.
  4. Each nugget can adopt a distinct style that matches the content to create a higher recall and retention.
  5. It is action-oriented. It encourages the learners to explore, learn, practice, face a challenge, solve a problem and so on.

What Value Can Microlearning Add To Your Compliance Training Mandate?

Microlearning can add value to your compliance training by offering:

  1. Higher engagement
  2. Higher completion rates (within the stipulated time – with lesser follow-ups)
  3. Better recall and higher long-term retention
  4. Triggers to behavioral change (leading to the desired behavior, aligned to the compliance mandate)

The compliance trainings can leverage on the microlearning-based approach in the following 4 ways to create higher impact:

  1. For the main compliance courses: Use a mix of diverse microlearning formats to create courses that are engaging and create sticky learning experiences.
  2. Prior to the program roll-out: Use the core strength of the microlearning technique to connect with the learners prior to the formal compliance training. You can use teaser videos, infographics, posters and so on and create awareness on the significance of the compliance training, and what the role of each employee is in meeting the mandate.
  3. Connect post the program roll-out: Provide room for reinforcement or practice (post the formal compliance training).
  4. Sustain the momentum: Create “communities of compliance practice” to sustain the compliance focus and keep the learners cued in (rather than the discrete connects through annual compliance trainings).

4 Examples Of Innovative Ways Through Which The Microlearning Format Can Uplift Boring Compliance Courses

As I had mentioned earlier, our compliance practice is 18 years old, and we have experimented with many techniques including:

  1. Gamification-based learning
  2. Scenario-based learning
  3. Story-based learning
  4. Guided-exploration-based learning

Now, I pick 4 examples that I term as NextGen compliance strategies that build on the approaches outlined above and will enable you in successfully meeting your compliance mandate.

Example 1: Microlearning In Compliance Training

This kind of a scenario-based microlearning activity is much suited for compliance trainings like information security, anti-bribery, insider dealing etc.

  • The scenario starts with a very brief context and then provides a situation that tests the learners’ ability to act in accordance with the compliance mandate.
  • The informal, illustrative approach presents a better way to engage learners.

Example 2: Microlearning In Compliance Training

This approach uses actual stories and experiences of employees who talk about specific aspects or situations they faced and what the impact was.

  • Each such microlearning nugget starts with short, impactful animations of employee stories.
  • Then, the related context on the impact on the self and the organization is presented.

Example 3: Microlearning In Compliance Training

This approach allows the learners to select their role and then they get access to microlearning nuggets for each topic aligned to that role.

  • The “WATCH” asset consists of videos showing the importance of compliance training and building awareness on the subject.
  • The “LEARN” assets contain “how to” scenarios on various aspects of the compliance mandate.
  • The “PRACTICE” asset has gamified quizzes and job aids (downloadable resources).

Example 4: Microlearning In Compliance Training

This is a short, gamified microlearning activity.

  • It tests the learners’ knowledge of the compliance topic.
  • It then provides recommendations on what learners need to learn more and what to focus their attention on.

I hope this article provides ideas on how you can use microlearning to uplift boring compliance training. If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

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