Financial services organizations need to adopt a more learner-centric approach to compliance learning

Financial services (FS) organizations face a myriad of challenges when it comes to compliance. Not only do they have a host of financial regulations to comply with; they are also struggling to figure out the best ways to embed compliance learning in the workforce. In this blog series, I’ll be discussing the different ways in which businesses can reinvent their compliance learning and use it as a tool for sustainable behavior change.

Considering the financial impact of compliance—as well as the advances in our ability to engage people and to embed learning and behavior change in individuals—it is vital that businesses make the strategic decision to develop compliance learning that starts with the learner. 

Compliance learning at present: High cost, low impact

Many finance and risk executives and HR professionals will admit 'off the record' that their regulatory learning programs are at best informative and at worst little more than box-ticking exercises.

A recent survey of 200 senior FS professionals shows that their organizations spend 4 percent of their total revenue on compliance learning—a figure that is predicted to rise to 10 percent by 2022—yet the impact of these investments remain low.

One of the main reasons for the low impact of compliance learning is that programs are often delivered as stand-alone courses that fail to take into account the employee’s specific role within the organization and the workplace context. At the same time, e-learning opportunities are squandered. For example, instead of drawing on the advantages of digital learning platforms, they are used for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ delivery of information, like teaching learners the rules. The result is that employees disengage from the experience and become demotivated.

Accenture predicts: learning in isolation from the context has a weak impact on behavior and, on its own, will likely fail to embed a sustainable culture of compliance and risk management.

A future where compliance learning delivers

At Accenture, we envision a future of dynamic, high-impact compliance learning. We see an educational approach that starts and ends with the learner, not with the compliance function ticking a box. In our version of compliance learning, time-consuming, stand-alone modules make way for role-based curriculums and individual learning paths. Behaviors are changed through digital tools and individual experiences with the content, urging employees to apply their skills and knowledge to real-life scenarios.

How do we move from the present to the future?

In my next series of blog posts, I will unpack the key starting point to moving from the present to the future, which involves all FS organizations giving status to compliance learning. I’ll discuss four vital characteristics of dynamic compliance learning, as well as the practical application of each within the workforce. To read more about the topic, download the report: Fresh Thinking: Reinvent your compliance learning for increased value.

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