7 Tips for Developing an Online Training Program for Employee Compliance

It’s easy to understand why so many companies are turning to e-learning to manage their compliance programs. Online and on-demand training sessions eliminate scheduling headaches, make employee compliance tracking easier, and reduce the cost of in-person training sessions.

Cat Compliance Training Program

If you’re currently thinking about developing an e-learning program for easy compliance, here are some tips to consider:

1: Start with a plan

Before you dive right in, take a few minutes to give yourself a framework by outlining needs and goals:

  • Do you plan on importing existing lessons, or do you want to develop your own custom lessons from scratch? Or both?

  • What topics do you plan to cover? Are they general topics such as onboarding and HR compliance topics, or are they more specialized?

  • Will your topics generally roll out to the same people? Or do you need a way to manage groups so that individual departments receive training in topics that are relevant to their positions?

  • Identifying these answers before you begin will provide you with a solid framework to build upon as you develop your e-learning program.

2: Do your homework

When you’re looking at technological solutions for your e-learning program, make sure to do research beyond the first page of the search engine. Search for reviews and forums that are specific to the products you’re considering as well as your industry. Googlers beware: it’s not uncommon for ranking sites to rank software by “popularity,” meaning number of users—not by positive user reviews. Once you’ve narrowed your options, make sure to request a demo so you can actually experience the interface firsthand before committing to a learning management system (LMS).

3: Get leadership on board

Implementing change can be incredibly difficult. Make sure to talk to managers in each department prior to rollout so you have their full buy-in. That way they can promote the new e-learning program to employees with enthusiasm and increase employee engagement. Some benefits of e-learning to make your case include:

  • Learners can go at their own pace

  • Compliance and ROI are easier to track and measure

  • Cloud-based and m-learning platforms allow for anytime, anywhere learning

  • Courses can be updated quickly and efficiently

  • Real-time feedback is available

  • Courses can be deployed on a large scale

  • e-learning is more cost-effective than in-person seminars and classes

4: Add a little incentive

The concept of gamification (using game concepts in real-life situations to more effectively engage the participant) has shown that a little bit of competition and reward can go a long way. Consider creative ways to incentivize employees such as:

  • Could the first department to reach 100-percent compliance receive lunch on the company’s tab?

  • Could the first employee to complete three optional courses in addition to mandatory lessons get “the good parking space” for a week?

  • Could employees download badges for sharing on social media or the company’s intranet when they reach certain accomplishments? 

5: Don’t be boring

Remember that while you’re using technology to roll out your compliance program, nobody wants to feel like they’re being lectured by a robot (or for that matter, Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”).

  • Keep it conversational: use plain language throughout the session

  • Vary format and content: consider using humor, images, and video throughout each lesson to maintain attention and break up monotony

  • Stay short and sweet: videos should be less than five minutes long

6: Enable anytime, anywhere learning

Between smartphones and tablets, more than half of all U.S. Internet traffic is now mobile. Because of this, any e-learning solution you consider must be based on what’s called responsive web design—where it looks great on any device. Making your e-learning compliance program accessible anywhere and from any device means employees can participate riding on the train home, on their tablet in the lunchroom, or anywhere else they feel comfortable.

Another important feature is the ability to stop a course and come back to your exact same spot later, even on a different device. This tiny detail can result in greater participation, since e-learners won’t have to start over to complete a course.

7: Measure and optimize

The great thing about e-learning training is that you can always keep evolving your lessons. Pay attention to what sessions are more quickly and successfully completed than others. Armed with that information, you can glean hints as to how you can better craft future lessons to be increasingly more engaging and effective.

And be sure you not only measure and optimize your courses, but also provide real-time (or close to it) feedback for your employees. When it comes to millennials, 95 percent work harder when they know where their work is going.

Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals from the start and clearly communicating them with your team is key to compliance. For example, send out email reminders that notify the team how close it is to 100-percent course completion by your target date until you reach your goal.

Have some insights of your own? Please share your tips and experiences developing an e-learning compliance program in the comments below.


Troy Anderson
Director of Talent Management

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