In my previous post, we talked about how compliance costs are on the rise for the financial services (FS) industry, while confidence remains low among firms when it comes to dealing with the changing demands of regulation.

The traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ methods of compliance training leave something to be desired. The format is too generalised, it’s not particularly effective, it costs too much and it’s frustrating to most participants. Even the term ‘compliance’ itself evokes a negative connotation – one of rules and obedience, rather than sustainable behaviour change.

The future of compliance learning can be more dynamic and high-impact. Here are four key traits of a successful compliance-learning initiative for FS firms:

Role-relevant learning. Creating customised learning sessions that respond to the specific requirements of the learner’s role and situation makes the programme more effective. Ensure that compliance learning is based on everyday scenarios to encourage participation and a deeper understanding of the contextual application of rules. It should be easy to complete a learning video or game – then immediately apply its contents in my day-to-day work. Increasingly we are using tools like WalkMe to aid simulation of what to do within a system – and experiences like the salesforce learning at BT (Brandon Hall Gold winner for “Best Use of Performance Support” in 2014) illustrate these techniques can be used for wider adoption of new role-relevant working practices.

A media-rich, high-impact learning experience. As digital media continues to become more ubiquitous in our everyday lives, learning delivery methods at work need to keep up. Serialised video content can follow a dynamic storyline, build compelling characters and use drama to engage learners. Gamification brings out the competitive nature of learners and helps embed behaviours. Simulations offer a risk-free environment for complex role-based compliance learning. Collaboration platforms such as Yammer, Jive and Facebook at Work allow sharing of user-generated content, including posts, video and blogs, and create a positive environment for employees to ask questions and learn from one another. Collaboration tools have been particularly effective in some FS organisations for helping compliance staff coach frontline staff or perform retrospectives on particularly tricky cases. Accenture’s compliance gamification learning program received the Silver Award in “Best Advance in Compliance Training” from the Brandon Hall group in 2017. Our client partner Ping An of China received the Gold Award in “Best Use of Mobile Learning” from the same group in 2015.

Brain-friendly learning. Compliance learning content needs to be straightforward and pragmatic and reflect the language and expected behaviours of the trainees. The individual sessions need to be bite-sized, accessible, relevant & fun. The learning cycle needs to make time for action, reflection, creation and testing to allow employees to make personal connections with the content. If we want to see a durable and lasting change in behaviour we must give learners space and support to form and habituate new behaviours. A number of smaller micro changes in behaviour is easier than one big leap or someone else telling us what to do.

Integration into overall business learning content. In order to create a more well-rounded and joined-up strategic learning programme, FS organisations need to collaborate with the professional regulating bodies. The external engagement helps build regulator trust and improve consumer confidence. The leadership team needs to set a clear direction and act as role models for the desired behaviours. FS leaders also need to consider different ways to assess on-going compliance efforts to make sure they are more than just a proxy for attestations. The more compliance becomes part of other learning and less a separate thing, the more effective it will become as part of ‘how we do things around here.’ Another one of our client partners, Commerzbank received the Gold Award in “Best Learning Team” from Brandon Hall in 2015.

Developing these key traits will help leaders in FS optimise learning experiences, driving better business value from their compliance initiatives in the future.

To find out more about compliance learning, please contact me here, or on Twitter: @AndyYoungACN.

To learn more, register to download the full report: Fresh Thinking: Reinvent Your Compliance Training for Increased Value

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