Earlier I commented upon a story of workplace bullying. Customers often ask my opinion about online compliance programs. The following are general rules I believe require consideration when designing compliance:
- If the content can be readily conveyed in a well written document, use a document and only track the evidence that the employee’s commitment to comply
- If you have decided to build an e-learning course to support policy compliance, keep it to 15 min length maximum. Any longer and employees may well begin to find ways to circumvent the course so they can get back to work
- Remember, the best you are likely to achieve with isolated e-learning compliance courses is awareness raising and a sense of personal obligation, not cultural change
- If the policy requires unlearning & relearning of concepts, consider the learning design: This is what it was – This is how it is now – The difference to you is…
- Frame the content with symbolism, and use that symbol in subsequent communication
- Ensure values have been engaged. Consider an intro from the CEO, for example
- Ensure examples are highly contextual to the employee. Use real organisational stories
- Ensure WIIFM – consequences and payoffs for complying or not
- Ensure the assessment type will stand up to a court of law (is tracking correct multiple choice response enough?)
- Reinforce the important role of manager in embedding the policy in the workplace. Ensure conversation post course.
I have had success in reinforcing employee commitment to policy, by having employees declare they have read, understood and are willing to comply with the content. Another approach is to have employees describe in 3-5 lines their understanding of the policy. This is posted in a public course forum, utilising peer pressure to ensure responses are considered.