In my previous blog post, I sketched a picture of the disappointing present of compliance learning, as well as Accenture’s vision for the future thereof. I explained why compliance learning has such low impact despite the sizable investments made by financial services (FS) organizations, and argued that in order for it to be more effective it needs to be designed with the learner in mind.

In this post, I’ll introduce four characteristics of compliance learning that businesses must keep in mind when developing their individual programs and I’ll discuss the first of the four—individually relevant learning.

Companies must give status to compliance

The key starting point to developing an effective curriculum is to give status to compliance within the workplace. The term ‘compliance’ is problematic—it implies that all you need to do to be compliant is to know and obey the rules—while the ideal is that employees should not only tick boxes but alter their behavior to fit the ethical and professional culture of the company. How do we bring about this behavioral shift in employees? By carefully examining the following characteristics of compliance learning and incorporating them in our program development:

  1. Individually relevant learning— embedded in role-based learning pathways;
  2. High impact learner experiences using social, workplace and media-rich digital learning;
  3. Focus on knowledge, skills, behaviors and decisions that embed lasting behavior change; and
  4. Joined up as strategic learning, reinforced and delivered at the point of need.

What is individually relevant learning?

In this approach, the emphasis is on a more proactive, personalized learning experience through new mediums such as real-life case studies, storytelling, coaching and follow-up exercises. This allows employees to form a deeper connection with the learning content.

At the same time, traditional stand-alone courses in which rules are conveyed and tested at the end of each module make way for bite-sized, role-specific learning that addresses the knowledge, skills, behaviors and judgment employees need to fulfill the daily requirements of their jobs in a way that’s both effective and compliant.

Employees are motivated to master the learning content through continual participation and engagement, as well as the ability to see the consequences of their actions.

The challenge of this method lies in its design; yet Accenture’s experience with clients who’ve successfully adopted an individually relevant learning program supports the value of an approach to learning design that builds consistency of messaging and intent, but allows for flexibility to tailor for specific roles and contexts.

 In my next post, I’ll discuss the second characteristic of effective compliance learning—high-impact learner experiences through digital learning. For more information about the topic, download the latest report entitled Fresh Thinking: Reinvent your compliance learning for increased value.

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