How to improve compliance training with a Learning Management System
With the GDPR and other industry-specific regulations in full force, it’s not a good idea to take it on faith that your employees are up to date on their compliance responsibilities. For a lot of organisations, it’s mandatory for employees to be regularly retrained on organisational codes of conduct and industry regulations. That can be a time-intensive and costly exercise using traditional training methods, and a monotonous chore for employees.
Thankfully, the increasing availability and adoption of Learning Management Systems (LMS) for corporate training, has made these issues far easier to overcome. We’re particular fans of Microsoft’s LMS365 for compliance training, but let’s take a look at some general LMS benefits before we dive into why.
What is a Learning Management System?
A learning management system (LMS) is essentially a software application or platform that enables the creation, administration, delivery and tracking of eLearning or online training programs. Depending on which LMS you’re using, these programs can have varying degrees of integration into your existing environment. They can be completely standalone experiences or seamless components of daily workflows.
Major benefits for corporate training
There are several benefits of LMSs over more traditional learning environments. One of the most obvious is that they are unaffected by time zones or geography and can accommodate a variety of learning styles and schedules.
Even more important for corporate applications, however, is the ability to deliver enterprise-wide training in an easy-to-manage, easy-to-track, and centrally managed way.
Targeted and scheduled training modules with completion reminders and comprehension tracking make it simple to monitor user progress and address any shortfalls quickly. Course content delivery that leverages gamification also encourages learner participation, and tight integration into existing work environments (available on platforms like LMS365) minimises “barriers to entry”.
It’s also very useful to be able to deliver training programmatically, making it possible to streamline and automate processes like onboarding new staff.
What makes LMSs a great fit for compliance training, specifically?
When your company’s reputation and well-being is on the line, you don’t want to take chances on employees forgetting or neglecting their compliance training. However, ensuring everyone (organisation-wide) is up to date on their responsibilities isn’t easy – even if it is essential to prevent potentially expensive litigation.
Using an LMS helps overcome these challenges in a variety of ways:
Quick, easy course creation and roll-out
Most LMSs have intuitive course creation interfaces that make it easy to create – and adapt – courses as your corporate needs change. This is very useful in the compliance space, which is constantly evolving.
For example, Microsoft recently extended sensitivity labelling functionality to Office applications on Windows. Labelling can be a potent tool in an organisation’s compliance toolbox, but requires a fair amount of understanding and labelling expertise from users. Since labelling policies vary dramatically from business to business, standardised training is of little use. Using an LMS would make it relatively easy to build a custom course around your corporate labelling policies and help you make the most of this powerful, built-in functionality.
Flexible and Fun Course Content Delivery
Let’s face it, reading corporate policies and legalese isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. LMSs can help you deliver learning content through a variety of media and interactive learning activities. Implemented well, these can entice and incentivise employee engagement, making the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Most LMSs also offer mobile device compatible training for participation on-the-go. The flexibility to engage whenever and wherever they learn best can have very positive effects on employee information retention and long-term outcomes.
Pro tip: Remote employees and mobile device use can increase a company’s risk of data breaches – make sure you secure these channels and provide adequate training on out-of-office safety protocol.
Automated Reminders and Notifications
With the help of an LMS, you can ensure compliance training is completed on time, every time, with convenient, customisable and trackable automated reminders and notifications.
Even better, some LMSs (like LMS365) let you tie training modules to activities that form part of a normal workday. For example, context-sensitive mini-modules or procedural reminders can be triggered when a user navigates to a specific SharePoint page. This is a great way to relate training to real-world applications and develop the right habits to ensure ongoing compliance.
Comprehensive Assessments and Reporting
LMS assessment and reporting capabilities tend to be extensive, including live tracking of engagement and completion, as well as automatic grading of performance.
Depending on your chosen system, your LMS may also be able to leverage advanced analytics to highlight specific trends and statistics from course modules. These can be integrated into business intelligence platforms to draw some very useful insights, including:
- Learner engagement, timelines and completion levels
- Performance on an individual and/or group level
- Potential knowledge gaps that need further reinforcement or clarification
- Areas in which course material could be adapted to better serve its purpose
Having access to this kind of comprehension-level reporting is particularly valuable in the compliance space. A lack of understanding can seriously hinder the adoption of new behaviours – a frequent requirement as legislation continues to evolve.
Auditable reports also help organisations prove due diligence in their compliance training remit, further minimising the risk of falling foul of legislation.
Easy Certification Management
For industries or organisations with mandatory certification requirements, keeping track of who has successfully completed what can be an ongoing headache. With the help of a good LMS, however, you can automate most of the certification management and retraining processes, including:
- Tracking course completion and understanding
- Enforcing regular retesting
- Automatically updating procedural content to reflect latest corporate protocol
Manage compliance and all other training activities effectively with LMS365
In which compliance areas can LMSs be of help?
LMSs are extraordinary tools for almost any type of education or training. When it comes to compliance, their application is particularly useful for organisations in financial services, law, healthcare etc. which have very specific compliance regulations. However, an LMS can be useful to virtually any organisation for training in the following areas.
The GDPR and other data protection legislation
Using an LMS to train employees on their role in safeguarding data makes it far easier to accommodate the evolving nature of this space. Periodic training updates can be actioned for a relatively low financial and time investment, and regular reminders can be triggered to reinforce good habits (such as securing company mobile phones and laptops).
LMSs also make it possible to track employee training and measure understanding to make sure users (both remote and in-office) are genuinely equipped to handle all relevant data-related situations. This reduces the risk of employee data breaches, for which employers may be held vicariously responsible (as in the case of UK supermarket company Morrisons). In these cases, an LMS’s comprehensive training records could also be of use in proving due diligence to strengthen an employer’s legal defence.
Pro tip: Your LMS also needs to be GDPR compliant, so make sure you’re using a reputable platform that conforms to international data privacy standards.
Health and safety
Mandatory health and safety training often comes at a high cost, and isn’t always as effective at minimising incidents as organisations may like. LMSs can offer a more effective way of driving the necessary knowledge home through engaging and flexible learning environments that encourage and incentivise learner participation.
They’re also able to track engagement and assess understanding to give employees the strongest possible foundation on which to build long-term behavioural change.
The need to correctly label data items according to their sensitivity and data retention requirements is something that end users are becoming increasingly involved in. Its processes tend to be a lot more nuanced (and frequently affected by technology advancements and updates) than other areas. This makes the flexibility of an LMS extremely valuable, particularly when using a platform that ties into your existing infrastructure and can trigger updates and policy reminders based on user activity.
Codes of conduct
Data breaches aren’t the only areas employees can be held vicariously liable for their employees’ conduct. Discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace can all have serious repercussions for employers as well. By providing training on appropriate workplace behaviour, anti-discrimination and equal opportunities policies, employers can demonstrate an active commitment to a non-toxic work environment and reduce their likelihood of liability.
An LMS can not only make this training easier to implement, update and monitor organisation-wide, it can also deliver content in a compelling manner that supports genuine understanding and drives real change.
Why introduce an LMS which uses existing technology to manage training
One of the biggest reasons we love LMS365 (apart from its great functionality) is because it integrates so seamlessly with the Office 365 environment.
Users don’t need to sign into a different learning platform to access their training or reminders. Instead, access management is aligned with their active directory entry. That means learning plans, courses, personal progress reports, certificates and more are all automatically accessible through completely familiar Office 365 channels.
That familiarity can make a big difference to user engagement and adoption.
Pro tip: LMS365 can also tap into Office 365’s productivity and social apps to add an element of friendly competition – or teamwork – to the training environment.
Choosing an LMS that integrates with your environment is about more than just learners’ user experience, however. It also makes the creation and administration of courses far easier. With LMS365 you can build, deploy, track and schedule everything relating to your training programme using Office, Outlook and SharePoint. No need for third-party web services or ongoing maintenance fees, and no integration costs.
Have you used (or considered) an LMS for compliance training? Leave a comment below and let us know the pros and cons that affected your experience or decision.