Online compliance training is mandatory. Unfortunately, every time you put “mandatory” in front of anything you can expect employee motivation to plummet.
How to make online compliance training enjoyable?
Even mandatory compliance online training courses can be enjoyable if you take the time to research your eLearning audience and get to the root of their motivation. As such, you should conduct surveys and social media polls beforehand to uncover other dreaded online training activities. One of the most effective ways to increase employee engagement is by adding game mechanics to your compliance online training course.
In this article, I’ll highlight 5 things that employees dread about online compliance training so that you can avoid them. I’ll also share 5 tips that can remedy the situation. This will help you keep employees motivation high and boredom at an all-time low.
Online compliance training: 5 things employees dread
Stressful, tedious, loathsome… These are just some of the words that employees use to describe online compliance training. Well, maybe “loathsome” is taking it a bit too far. But most staff members would rather volunteer for the weekend shift than sit through another online compliance training course. The great news is that you can make online compliance training exciting and engaging by avoiding these 5 dread-worthy online training design elements.
1. One-size-fits-all online training content
Every employee has unique needs, preferences, and objectives. As such, every employee requires a personalized online training experience that allows them to pursue their own goals. This is why your workforce absolutely dreads “cookie cutter” online training content. At one point or another, you’ve probably sat through an online presentation that seemed to be created for someone else. It didn’t resonate with you on a personal level or provide any relevant information. Other corporate learners may have benefited from the experience, but not you. And that inevitably leads to feelings of isolation, which drastically diminish online training motivation and engagement.
Quick fix: Research your employees to identify their needs and then create personalized online training paths and goals. Give them the opportunity to choose their own online training activities and modules. Also, include a good mix of online training content to appeal to different learning preferences. For example, podcasts are great for auditory learners, while drag-and-drop games are ideal for kinesthetic learners.
2. Long lectures
Their eyelids are getting heavy and yawns are unavoidable. This is a sure sign that boredom has set in and your lengthy online lecture isn’t holding their attention. Employees simply don’t have the time or patience to sit through an hour-long presentation about compliance standards or company policy. They need the information fast and it MUST be easy to digest. Otherwise, cognitive overwhelm is a distinct possibility. Not to mention, ineffective online training courses that fail to achieve the desired outcome.
Quick fix: Instead of one long lecture, chunk your online training content into smaller units and include additional interactivity. For example, a half-hour lecture becomes 6 five-minute modules that include serious games, pop quizzes and branching scenarios. If you are taking a synchronous learning approach, you can also host mini-webinars that feature a question and answer portion at the end. This gives employees the chance to absorb the information before they move onto the next online training activity.
3. Novel-length online training manuals
Even literary buffs don’t want to peruse online training manuals that rival Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Employees need information quickly so that they can go about their work day. However, many organizations still rely on lengthy online or downloadable compliance manuals that employees end up printing and reading after hours. Long manuals are also difficult to read on a mobile device. And, finally, the key takeaways typically get lost in the shuffle, especially if long paragraphs are involved.
Quick fix: The remedy for this is actually two-fold. First, you must break the online training manual into smaller sections that focus on specific ideas or tasks. Secondly, add online training activities, links, and multimedia to make it interactive. You need to get the information across, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all in one sitting. Likewise, incorporating interactive elements boosts employee engagement and participation.
4. Boring online training simulations
In the past, employees typically had to participate in role plays where they acted on a character persona. This was to offer them real world experience before they entered the workplace. Today, online training simulations have become the new norm. However, many online compliance training programs still suffer from boring online simulations. These online training simulations lack authenticity and real world challenges. Thus, they don’t provide any training value.
Quick fix: Learn as much as you can about your corporate audience and then use this data to make it real. Include relatable characters for online training, sound effects, and situations that employees encounter on a daily basis. If possible, add images from the workplace so that they can get that sense of immersion. You can also add some degree of pressure, such as decision-making that has an impact on the outcome.
5. Anything to do with online assessments
I know. This a broad category. But the reality is that nobody really likes online assessments. They tend to make employees feel stressed and anxious. As a result, you don’t get a true sense of what they know and how well they know it. This rule generally applies to multiple choice, true-false, and other traditional question types. Our brains automatically recognize these direct forms of questioning as assessments. If we’ve had negative experiences with exams in the past, those emotions will carry over into the online compliance training. On the other hand, if you create online assessments that aren’t challenging enough you run into the same problem. You aren’t able to properly determine strengths and areas for improvement. Another downside to using these diagnostic tools is that are quantitative, rather than qualitative.
Quick fix: Fortunately, there is a way to assess employees without them even realizing they’re being tested. In fact, they may even find the experience enjoyable. Online training scenarios, serious games, and real world simulations are all engaging and interactive online assessment methods. They test employee knowledge and proficiency while helping them retain more information.
An article by Christopher Pappas.