3 Best Practices for Compliance Software Training
Implementing a new software application is a huge event for any company. Even if it’s just an upgrade, new bells and whistles can throw users out of sync. Hundreds of hours go into preparing the new system and getting it ready for the go live event. Often, companies are so focused on coding and programming, and making sure that everything is working properly that the human element of software is pushed to the bottom of the priority list.
At the end of the day, employees have to be aware of why compliance software is important, and ultimately how to use it correctly. Software upgrades and new implementations usually require some amount of training for users. It can be overwhelming when trying to pin down the best way to do this. Many companies hire trainers to do this, or they elect to develop their training programs in-house. Either way, it’s important to be aware of best practices for compliance software training so that you know what to look for when evaluating programs. Keep reading to learn more about three best practices for compliance software training.
When you mention the word training in many organizations, eyes roll and yawns can be heard throughout the corridors. There are countless reasons for this: training can be boring, a waste of time, ineffective. The list can go on and on. Companies fail to show employees the value in the training they are receiving, and it becomes a necessary evil with many employees trying to race through as quickly as possible or avoid it all together. Compliance software offers an even bigger hurdle to jump, because a lot of people simply aren’t big fans of the topic of compliance in general. It’s arduous. In some companies, employees spend more time trying to skirt compliance requirements and fly under its radar, than they spend doing their jobs.
What most people don’t realize is that compliance software helps mitigate risk for companies and keeps them in business, and oftentimes out of the watchful eye of the law or tax authorities. Failure to comply could ultimately result in the end of the company. So, before you ever show employees one single PowerPoint training slide, you have to get them to buy into the fact that a) compliance software is valuable to them, and b) learning how to use it properly is useful. This is no easy task in some organizations, but it can be done.
Research in training and adult education shows that threatening employees with sanctions is ineffective when it comes to getting them to complete a training. Cognitive education and persuasion are much more effective. So, you really have to sell the training program and the software right from the beginning. Additionally, using a moral framework to emphasize its importance can get employees to a level of acceptance where they believe it is necessary, and not just because they are being told so. One way of doing this is by providing them with realistic scenarios. For example, ask them what would happen if a report is not submitted properly via the software program? There would likely be some sort of punitive damages assessed from the relevant regulatory authorities. It could also result in penalties that the employee is personally responsible for. This can change an employee’s perspective on the importance of training for compliance software.
Give Them the How and the Why
Human beings are curious by nature, so providing them with as much information about a program of training as possible will go a long way towards the actual absorption of the material. From the outset, make sure you clearly communicate how they will be learning and why they will be learning the assigned topic. Show them how it connects to their daily activities. This means that the training program must have clearly defined objectives. Key questions to consider are:
How will employees learn the material?
Will they take an assessment at the end?
What do they need to learn? Look at what the learning essentials are in the moment. Perhaps, they don’t need to learn 100% of the compliance software before it goes live. Maybe they just need to learn the most important parts and go from there?
How big is the learning curve? Do they need a PhD in the new software, or will a workshop do the trick?
By communicating the answers to these key questions, employees will feel more involved in the training process. They will also feel like they have more control over the situation. Hopefully, this will contribute to a greater understanding of new compliance software tools.
Show Them that it “Works”
Every training program needs a method for measuring its successes and failures. Companies need to know if their employees are “getting it.” Employees also need to know that the training they are receiving has been proven effective. They certainly don’t want to waste time on training modules that are outdated or irrelevant. Ensure that your compliance software training program works, and communicate that to employees. The empirical process for measuring effectiveness is twofold: 1) Ask employees how effective they thought the training was. This can be through anonymous surveys or interviews. 2) Measure results for a period of time after the training. Number of mistakes made? How many compliance mistakes?
If your training program for compliance software is brand new, look at scholarly articles or research and share a modified summary of results. When employees believe that what they are taking part in is worthwhile, they will approach the endeavor with greater zeal.
Compliance software is quite possibly the most important type of software that your company will ever use, because frankly it’s what keeps everyone out of hot water. That’s why training your employees to get the maximum benefit out of it is essential.