Compliance training isn’t as simple as ticking boxes. In order for your corporate compliance training to be effective, you need to devise a solid learning strategy. One of the most important parts of this is defining your learning objectives. It can be tempting to define these as something as simple as "ensure everyone in the business is trained upon Health and Safety". However, the more specific your goals are to your organisation, the more effectively your compliance training can contribute to achieving your business goals.

Learning objectives can have a great deal of impact on everything from company culture and public image to KPI achievements and ROI. Let’s take a look at some of the main things to consider before devising your compliance training strategy.

The importance of setting objectives

Setting objectives and goals is one of the main ways to understand and gauge achievement in many areas of our lives. To-do lists, for example, incorporate the principles of small-scale goal setting in our everyday lives. From your weekly shop to quarterly sales meetings, most areas of our lives are goal oriented – why should your compliance training be any different?

Back in the school classroom, for example, learning objectives were prevalent and helped everyone move towards a common goal. Not only this, but it ensured lesson plans, discussions, and activities stayed on track – corporate learning benefits from objectives in much the same way.

Components of a successful learning objective

We’ve looked at the importance of focusing your corporate learning strategy around objectives, but what makes an effective learning objective?

Regardless of the environment, a strong learning objective has 3 components:

1. Learning outcomes

This allows your learners to understand the skills they will develop as a result of this objective. For example, it may enable them to provide more effective customer service, understand the legal implications of cash handling, or safely operate machinery.

2. What is expected of your learners

In order for your learners to complete their objectives effectively, they need a good understanding of what is expected of them. In the context of compliance training, for example, this may involve a specific set of four eLearning courses on your LMS or a series of classroom-based learning activities.

Understanding the setting of the learning environment prior to the start of training increases learning retention and allows your employees to be better equipped physically and mentally for their upcoming corporate learning experience.

3. How your learners will be evaluated

Understanding how the evaluation process works is a vital component of any form of learning, training or testing. This provides valuable context for your learners as well as those implementing the training and is the final step in creating effective learning objectives.

In the same way assessment and exam criteria assist in the learning process in academic environments, everyone involved in corporate learning benefits from a standardisation of evaluation.

Organisation-specific objectives

The above is a good formula for learning objectives in just about any environment. However, when it comes to corporate compliance training, you need to be more specific to your organisation. Adding the context of your learners’ specific work environments makes it easier for your team to stay engaged as well as provide a real-life context in which they can apply what they’ve learned.

This applies to every stage of your strategy, from the base objectives to bespoke LMS content. For example, the Health and Safety training at a sports centre, where the risk of injury is likely, requires a different approach than that of an office environment. In this sense, compliance training objectives need to be set according to the necessity of completion rates in accordance with organisation-wide risk assessment.

Top-down objective setting

Ultimately, all roads should lead to your organisation’s KPIs, whether you’re deciding the best type of corporate learning for your business, looking at rebranding or setting the learning objectives for your corporate compliance training.

Using a top-down model and example setting from those with the most influence in your organisation is a great way to optimise your compliance training experience. Avoid box ticking by looking at the attitudes towards specific areas of compliance within your organisation. In essence, you need to assess how the necessities tie into your KPIs.

Case Study: Success of top-down objective setting at JYSK

JYSK used a mobile-led approach to eLearning across their organisation and used a top-down approach to setting their wider learning objectives. On a top KPI-based level, they wished to increase sales throughout the business. This led to the decision to change attitudes towards online sales, empowering shop floor employees to direct customers to shop through their website for additional items or those unavailable in-store. This change was implemented through a top-down approach to their learning objectives, using their business goals to influence company-wide change.

What do you want your objectives to be?

Now we’ve looked at the steps to creating effective learning objectives for your compliance training, it’s time to consider what you want yours to be. Compliance training is the first step towards setting organisational standards and attitudes towards everything from workplace learning to customer service.

Consider the following questions

  • How do you want your organisation to be viewed by customers/clients and the general public?
  • What internal processes can influence how your image is projected?
  • What behaviours do you want to be a priority for your workforce?
  • Are there legal requirements specific to your industry/sector?
  • Can you marry up employee behaviours with your KPIs?

Considering these questions should help you to create and define your learning objectives.

Defining the learning objectives of your corporate compliance training isn’t as simple as covering all legal bases. In order to make the most of the learning strategy implemented through your LMS, it is important to consider the impact that compliance training can have on your wider organisation. From site-specific Health and Safety concerns to reflecting on your current learning culture, the objective setting is a vital part of any organisation’s development in the modern world. Compliance training is a shared responsibility and unites your employees, so it is vital not to underestimate the importance of defining effective learning objectives as part of your wider corporate learning strategy.

This article was originally posted on eLearning Industry.

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