If you’re a business owner or manager, you’re likely already familiar with the concept of compliance training: a type of training that tells employees the company policies and industry regulations they need to follow in the workplace.
Compliance training is an important part of successful business management — but it only works if you design an effective curriculum. Today, let’s discuss the keys to a great compliance training plan.
Why Do You Need a Compliance Training Plan?
Before we can discuss how to create a compliance training plan, we should first discuss WHY you need to invest in this tool. Compliance is essential for any business – and not just because it’s often required by law). When companies make compliance a priority, they can enjoy a more trusting workplace, better employee morale, and possibly thousands in costs saved (thanks to all those lawsuits and regulatory fees they won’t be facing).
But as we mentioned earlier, a business can only enjoy these benefits if its compliance training plan is EFFECTIVE. So, how do you guarantee that efficacy? It starts with careful consideration during the creation process.
Important Aspects to Consider
When you design your compliance training program, make sure you keep the following in mind:
Unconscious biases color the way we feel about everything – including the way we treat our co-workers. When creating your compliance training plan, it’s important to do your best to eliminate any biases and deliver information as clearly as possible.
Think about the most effective employee training you’ve ever attended. Did you sit and listen to a lecture the whole time? No! Odds are your trainer likely encouraged engagement through group discussions, question and answer periods, and other tools. Remember, leaders should not be doing all the talking when training. Make sure your trainees have time to speak.
Diversity and Inclusion
When you design a compliance training plan, it is important to make sure you’re taking a holistic approach. Your business likely employs professionals across the race, age, and gender spectrum, and their different voices and viewpoints can be a real strength. Don’t forget to include everyone in your training plan!
Aspects to Discuss in Your Compliance Training Program
The specifics of your compliance training plan will vary based on your industry and your company’s unique policies. However, there are a few aspects that every business must address in their compliance plans. These include the following:
Anti-harassment and Discrimination
Your company must have a policy in place to address of harassment (sexual, verbal, etc.) and discrimination (against race, LGBTQ identity, age, size, etc.). Compliance training is the perfect place to spell out the kind of misconduct your company will not tolerate, as well as the policies for reporting harassment when employees witness it.
Whistleblowers (the people who report non-compliance) are a critical part of any organization. Yet too often, would-be whistleblowers fail to speak up because they’re afraid of retaliation. Your training plan must include information about your company’s anti-retaliation policy, as this will both encourage whistleblowers and deter potential instigators.
Your company’s drug testing policies should be included in your compliance training plan. Drug use (including marijuana use in states with legal cannabis) should meet the standards set by the employer… but your employees won’t know what those standards are if you don’t tell them!
In addition to the general compliance topics we’ve listed above, there are other industry-specific issues you may want to include in your training. These include the following:
If you work in healthcare, you will want to review the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) with your employees during compliance training. This rule is vital to preserve patient privacy, so everyone working with your company should understand it fully.
Financial organizations will want to make sure their employees are familiar with all relevant SEC regulations. These regulations prevent fraud and other securities crimes, so make sure you use your compliance training plan to ensure your employees understand what they should and shouldn’t do.
OSHA is an agency dedicated to preventing workers from health hazards. There may be specific OSHA standards that are relevant to your employees, which can keep them safe and healthy on the job. If so, make sure you review these standards during compliance training.
These days, every organization uses computers to send or store important data. Therefore, it is critical to focus on cyber security during your compliance training. The degree to which you review cyber security will vary based on your industry, but it is a definite must-have for any training plan.
If your company works to create a holistic, inclusive, and engaging compliance program, you can be certain that your employees will remember the policies and procedures they learn in your training. Visit ComplianceLine today to learn more about designing the right training plan for your organization.