The past year has ushered in a new era for many of today’s workers: the age of work from home. After the coronavirus forced businesses to close their doors, those who could adapted by moving the conference room into their employees’ living rooms.
The results were astounding. A Stanford University study found that productivity increased 13% among newly-remote workers. Pew Research Center reported that about half of remote employees claimed to have more flexibility in their schedules under the “new normal.” With these benefits clearly documented, it’s no surprise that many businesses are making the WFH model permanent; according to Enterprise Technology Research, the number of full-time remote workers is expected to double this year.
However, there is one area of the workplace that is struggling to find its footing in the work from home world: training. How do you conduct effective compliance training when your employees are scattered across the country (or even the globe)? Here are a few tips to make remote compliance training work for your business.
Mobile, Anywhere Access
When your workers are remote, they can do their jobs anywhere: their homes, the park, even a gorgeous resort hotel. And thanks to our mélange of internet-connected technologies, they don’t always have to do their work on their laptop or PC – smartphones work just as well.
There is no way to be sure what kind of device your employees will be using for their training. Therefore, it’s critical that your training is accessible across a wide range of devices. Make sure to optimize your training program so that users can view it on their phones, tablets, or computers. Not only will this guarantee that anyone can view the training, it gives them the freedom to do it on their own time and from anywhere.
Microlearning with Short Videos
Compliance is a big, dense subject with a lot for employees to learn. This is hard enough to communicate in the traditional conference room so how can you effectively train a workforce that’s not even in the room with you? The answer is simply to break it down: divide your compliance topics into short, digestible sections and teach them one at a time.
This type of training is known as “microlearning,” and it’s a great way to help your employees understand a meaty concept like compliance. Create short videos on each element of your company’s compliance policies and allow your employees to view them at their own pace. This will make compliance seem less intimidating and easier to understand — and the short videos can be a great reference tool when it’s time to brush up on certain policies and procedures.
Newsletters or Written Updates
Let’s say that a certain compliance policy is being updated, changed, or newly introduced to your team. In the old world, you’d simply post a memo in the office or gather everyone together for a quick meeting. Of course, that’s next to impossible for a remote workforce, so how do you keep everyone abreast of new compliance updates? Write it down!
When a compliance update comes along, sending out an email notice or newsletter is a quick and simple way to communicate the change to everyone on your team. With email, you can reach your entire workforce with a single message — and you can receive written confirmation of who has received and acknowledged your note. This helps you keep track of which employees are aware of the new compliance updates and which ones might need a follow-up.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that compliance training can be a bit dry. Discussing company policy, industry regulations, and consequences for misconduct is hardly anyone’s idea of a fun-filled afternoon! And when you’re training remote workers, there is a greater risk of your employees “checking out” during training. After all, they’re on their own — who’s going to stop them from watching Netflix during training?
Gamification is a great way to spice up your compliance training and encourage employee participation. If employees are engaged in a fun, competitive game (like a quiz-show or an online office with quest-like learning modules) they will be more likely to engage with the material. This will help keep your employees’ interest, even with the temptations of the internet and the freedom of remote work looming overhead. Best of all, gamification can actually help your employees retain their training!
One of the hardest things about remote work is the inability to read your employees’ body language or demeanor — which means you don’t know when something isn’t going well. Communication is key to a successful remote workforce, and this is particularly true when it comes to compliance training.
Your employees must understand the company standards for compliance, as well as the systems in place for reporting misconduct and noncompliance, if you’re going to run your business efficiently. HR directors, managers, and other team leaders must regularly check in with their remote employees to make sure that everyone understands and is keeping with compliance standards. If you do this, your team will be able to operate smoothly — no matter where you are.