3 Keys to More Effective Corporate Compliance and Ethics Training

Educating employees about company policies, rules, and regulations that come into play in their day to day job responsibilities is critical. The objective of any training program should be the realization of your company’s obligations towards its shareholders and stakeholders. Besides this, compliance training should focus on the observance of industry codes, legislative requirements, standards, and values of good corporate governance, and community expectations.

Why do you need Corporate Compliance and Ethics Training?

Every organization must have a strong corporate compliance & ethics program to ensure that comprehensive reporting, accountability, and effective oversight are upheld. It similarly helps to detect and prevent improper conduct besides promoting adherence to the organization’s ethical and legal obligations. Such a program can only be effective if a culture of commitment and compliance towards it is widely nurtured across the organization.

The following are three main keys to effective corporate compliance and ethics training.

1. Selecting Training Topics from Risk Areas

Before rolling out a corporate compliance & ethics training program, you first need to identify the primary risk areas facing your organization. This will help you implement a program that targets maximum risk mitigation for your training dollars. Of course, we can train on additional topics, but it’s critical to ensure your highest risk areas are targeted first. Training development should be tied directly to the legal and compliance risk assessment.

2. Assigning Role-Based Training

You may find compliance training to be a burden to your organization. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that the benefits of an effective training program far outweigh the costs. When training a large number of employees, you may find it difficult to measure the appropriate amount of training that each employee needs.

New employees should undergo mandatory training as soon as they join the company so that they get acquainted with your standards, and policies. Training for new employees must include an introduction to the corporate culture, including its values, how and when to report issues, and guidance on the company’s highest risk areas. Annual training should be role-based. A few training courses are likely to be required of every employee, but it is essential to avoid training employees on topics that they do not touch in their duties. This is one of the fastest ways to create training fatigue. Stay focused on the objectives of training.

3. Periodic Communications

One-time training alone is not a panacea, however appealing it may seem. A single training session isn’t enough to cultivate an ethical culture amongst your employees or to ensure compliance. You must have a schedule and plan for periodically communicating your standards and policies to your employees.  This can take many forms: toolbox talks, safety briefings, newsletters, all hands meetings, townhalls, and mass emails.  Even a paycheck memo line is an opportunity to provide a training “nugget” on a risk area, or to reinforce your culture. Use these opportunities to enhance knowledge retention.

Additional Tips for Effective Corporate Compliance and Ethics Training

  • Compliance and ethics training modules should focus on duties that simulate the scenarios employees face in their everyday activities.
  • Full risk topics should be split into a series of shorter sections to keep employees’ attention and promote higher retention of knowledge.
  • Training content should be tailored to employees’ needs and risk level.
  • Training should be tracked, attested to, followed-up and documented. This helps to identify obstacles that workers encounter when implementing compliance and ethics training in their workflows.
  • Establish metrics to measure how training is actually affecting employees’ behavior.

A robust and effective compliance and ethics training program will enable your employees to easily comply with industry codes, organizational standards, standards of good corporate governance, and other legislative obligations. Training can have many challenges, but we can help you establish your trajectory. We work with you to establish the best way to attain your company’s compliance and ethics training goals. Contact us today for more information and further assistance.