Why Compliance Training Sucks and How You can Fix It


Complaince Training Sucks

Yes, indeed, folks, this title is harsh, but I will let you be the judge of the assertion.

Recall the last time you opened your inbox on a Monday morning only to find a message from Human Resources announcing the start of the company’s annual Compliance Training.

What was your immediate emotional response?

I presume it was not one of joy and eager anticipation but rather abject displeasure and planned procrastination.

Why do the words Compliance Training evoke so much negative resistance on the part of employees in the workforce?

The Problem

I surmise that much of the resistance stems from the authoritative nature of the training. After all, who likes to be forcefully compelled to do anything. Dropping the word compliance would be one place to start but let’s not get ahead.

Yes, I will readily admit that Compliance Training is a legal matter of utmost importance to a business. But why does it seem every Learning Management System’s (LMS) approach is to elicit fear and punishment as their carrot?

And while on the subject of LMS, why does it feel like they were made by Lawyers for Lawyers? Is this the best we can do for our employees?

Each new LMS requires employees to frequently change context during their day to learn a new system whose use is short-lived at best.

The traditional LMS approach presents the entirety of a lengthy program upfront and asks employees to block a window for uninterrupted attention. The commitment required appears daunting, leading most employees to procrastinate to the very end.

This brings me to another reason why Compliance Training is so dreaded. Designers of these training programs do not consider the delivery vehicle employees favor the most. This point is true of training programs in general.

Well-meaning companies go out of their way to implement systems and processes to maximize employee productivity. Yet, when the time comes to deliver training, little to no accounting is taken of the working style employees favor the most.

The recent widespread adoption of distributed and asynchronous communication platforms in response to Covid and the need to go remote is a case in point. Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are some of the more popular vehicles discovered and favored by employees during this challenging period.

For those in the tech world, these platforms were widely used before Covid; nonetheless, this industry also finds itself guilty of the same lack of imagination regarding Compliance Training, Onboarding, and a host of other routine training.

The Solution

Companies delivering training programs should take inventory of how their workforce elects to get work done.

Slack positions itself as a community where employee happiness and productivity thrive. Anyone who has worked with teams using this platform can attest to this statement.

Yet, the overriding mandate to satisfy an audit evaporates all happiness and productivity from the stated task.

And what follows?

Human Resources complains of poor engagement and frequently has to nudge employees who are “slacking” (excuse the pun) in their obligations to meet the deadline. This pattern repeats endlessly, along with the feign surprises to the poor engagement and adoption levels this course of action engenders.

Adoption and retention always drop in priority as employees make a mad dash at the end to fill those unchecked completion boxes. Improving the organizational culture and team efficiency is sacrificed on the altar of the audit enforcement.

Our Approach

But what if there was a way to junk the LMS and deliver highly effective training in small chunks to your audience where you THEY are?

Meet your audience where THEY are!

What if your training could be received with the same ease of flow and fit as an interstitial ad? I think you would agree that this approach would be superior to shouting at your audience from the edges of the screen with calls to “Buy this and buy that “ as with traditional ads.

This is what Cassava does precisely.

Cassava honors the mantra that “Slack is the place where work gets done” and delivers trainings we call Experiences to your audience where they are most productive and at home. Cassava uses three foundational principles for success:

  • Chunking
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Repetition

You can learn more about these principles in a previous article.

We believe this approach is a winner in the categories that matter - engagement and adoption.

Designing a training program requires an upfront investment of time and resources. Your reasons for undertaking this endeavor should exceed the limited justification to satisfy an auditor’s checkbox.

Cassava Onboarding


Whether you choose Cassava or another solution, I hope you would agree that the current approach to Compliance Training has failed miserably and requires a new perspective and approach.

The points addressed today will help you navigate this road should you find yourself tasked with creating training programs.

We have designed a free Onboarding demo for those interested in evaluating Cassava in Slack.

Ready, Set, Go!

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