Complying with external and internal policies and rules protects businesses from liability and lawsuits. However, companies are responsible for training employees to meet their industry and role compliance standards.
Compliance training is a type of training employees complete to ensure they follow certain policies and practices. This training can protect companies and employees from various safety and legal issues. It aims to provide employees with the right knowledge, resources and processes to keep themselves and others safe while at work, whether from health and safety risks or legal repercussions.
Organizations often include compliance training as part of their onboarding processes, but your company can increase understanding and compliance by instituting regular training each year or as policies update.
Compliance training includes two specific types, depending on who is enforcing and implementing the policies. Corporate compliance training reflects the guidelines and policies of the particular company. Organizations can adapt training to their industry, locations, departments and roles to create training courses that better prepare employees for working with their company. If you have unique risks and challenges, having this type of compliance training can ensure you equip employees with the right knowledge and tools to protect themselves.
Alternatively, regulatory compliance training uses standards from external parties, like governments and other industry organizations. Regulations and laws will determine policies that companies must follow. Some might apply on state and federal levels, while others only need to go into effect when using specific procedures or equipment. This training aims to protect employees from legal and safety threats while ensuring proper business practices on all levels.
Compliance training is a practical, comprehensive way for companies to protect themselves and their employees. When investing in training solutions or courses, understanding why you need this training type can increase implementation processes for your organization. Some reasons compliance training is essential include:
Applying to all industries: Every industry must comply with unique standards and organizations. When developing a compliance training program, you can incorporate your sector's regulations for safer operations. With this strategy, your employees become more prepared for working in your field and can better grow their careers.
Reducing employee and partner risks: Many workplace incidents occur because employees are unaware of threats, proper processes and available tools. Compliance training prevents accidents from happening by increasing awareness and understanding of risks and problems, so employees can better identify and report them. While compliance training is an excellent proactive and avoidance strategy, it also includes comprehensive reactive information, like proper responses and tools for handling issues.
Staying compliant with legal organizations: Compliance training allows your company to track and ensure you follow various laws and standards. Training courses visualize what you currently cover and can highlight any gaps. The adaptable nature of compliance training ensures each department gets the relevant information they need to follow requirements established by outside organizations, like the government.
Establishing responsibility and accountability: Compliance training outlines what actions and consequences employees are responsible for. Certain situations will require them to identify and report problems promptly to avoid culpability, while others need them to follow specific protocols to protect themselves and others. Training will establish the proper procedures for various scenarios they could encounter at work. Alternatively, a lack of compliance training and awareness leaves companies accountable for workplace accidents and dangers.
Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA): Responding to a CAPA is tedious and time-consuming to identify the root cause and planning to either correct or prevent future occurrences. Compliance training can both prevent CAPAs or if they occur, provide tools for continuous improvement processes with the systematic investigation of deviations, complaints, and non-compliance events.
Federal and state departments issue various regulations to protect employees and customers across industries. For example, the FDA issues laws to regulate and protect food and drug production and consumption. When designing your compliance training program, dedicating courses to the government organizations that govern your industry can ensure your employees know their expectations and limitations.
Your company should also take the time to outline your specific compliance standards and train employees with a unique course. Outline your company's code of conduct, establishing your expectations with employees. When you outline how they should act, dress, interact and perform, they can deliver better results. Depending on your company's facilities and technology, your company compliance training can outline various processes, like fire escape routes and tracking hours.
This training topic is an excellent opportunity for managers and department leaders to provide input. They might have specific standards and regulations for their teams or extra content they want to add to general compliance information. For example, companies might have all employees complete basic cybersecurity training, but financial departments might require more complex compliance courses that cover more situations because of the sensitive information they handle daily.
Other topics within this category might include co-worker relationships, gift giving and conflicts of interest.
Along with various policies and procedures, your corporate compliance training is an excellent place to outline your organization's values and ethical stances. Potential candidates might get an idea of your company's values and priorities from applications and searches, but training courses can explain how employees can contribute to and uphold them.
You should provide many examples and learning opportunities for employees during this training course. Give them chances to see how each value and ethical concept will fit into their daily routines or work environment. This learning technique can also specify compliance training for various departments and positions. Testing options can allow employees to hone their judgment and learn how to make calls in challenging situations.
Several organizations protect against discrimination in the workplace, including the U.S. Department of Labor. Their regulations apply to the entire employee lifecycle, from posting applications to firing and retirement. Discrimination compliance ensures companies meet employees' rights and that individuals know what those rights are. Under the Department of Labor's requirements, employers cannot discriminate against employees because of their:
Nationality or ethnicity
Informing employees about workplace discrimination enables them to identify it better when it occurs, whether to them or coworkers. Training equips employees with the appropriate policies for handling workplace discrimination, like reporting incidents to human resources or filing a complaint. Following the Department of Labor's requirements further protects employees by ensuring companies follow proper protocols when handling discrimination claims.
Sexual harassment is another way you must protect employees in the workplace. Like discrimination, sexual harassment compliance training courses should start by defining sexual harassment and providing examples of what it looks like. Identification is a powerful tool for employees, enabling them to take action and protect themselves. Courses should also cover essential processes, like reporting, so employees know what to do and who to approach if they experience or witness sexual harassment at work.
When employers must provide comprehensive protection to employees, they must consider what types of violence could occur at their locations. Fights can break out in offices or someone can bring a weapon into facilities. To keep employees safe, companies must outline proper processes, like avoidance strategies and escape routes.
Compliance training courses like these should also outline the consequences of participating in any violence. When employees understand they can lose their job or face lawsuits for getting in fights or engaging in dangerous behavior, employers protect themselves from wrongful termination suits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific requirements for many industries to maintain healthy and safe working conditions.
For example, employees in warehouses need to follow proper forklift regulations. They must hold the right certifications and training before operating, follow warehouse traffic and understand their model's weight limitations. These practices reduce accidents, keeping themselves and others safe. Other examples might include the following:
Providing information sheets about chemicals employees use
Enforcing the use of personal protective equipment
Teaching ergonomic sitting, standing and lifting habits
From offices to warehouses and production plants, OSHA conducts regular job site inspections to ensure companies follow proper guidelines and educate employees on healthy procedures.
Organizations handling sensitive customer data need to meet cybersecurity standards and regulations to protect information from leaks and theft. While you might include more comprehensive cybersecurity training for your IT and finance departments, requiring all employees to complete basic compliance training will keep you protected on all fronts. More employees will have the tools and knowledge to prevent common cyber attacks, like phishing.
Offering compliance training during onboarding and at regular intervals benefits organizations and employees.
Decreases Company and Employee Liability: Without compliance training, mistakes might fall on the company for employee mistakes. For example, companies might face lawsuits if they don't provide the right resources to protect employees from injuries and accidents. Even if the employee committed the act, companies are responsible for keeping them safe first. Conversely, training prevents employees from making mistakes that can land them in legal trouble, like mishandling someone's finances.
Compliance training educates employees and e-signatures provide proof that they understand the potential risks, processes and consequences.
Protects Company Reputation and Finances: Lawsuits and public problems can damage a company's brands and customer loyalty. When people learn about discrimination cases, on-site accidents and security breaches, their trust decreases. Many turn to competitors. Rebranding efforts and reaching new audiences can cost large sums in marketing materials and campaigns. Further, legal fees, workers' compensation and other expenses are costly, creating an additional financial burden on companies.
Compliance training removes some of the culpability from employers, showing they provided what they needed to avoid problems. Your training investment can save money dealing with compliance breaches.
Improves Employee Efficiency and Productivity: In addition to creating a safer environment for employees, reducing accidents and injuries can boost company efficiency. When employees can easily identify and respond to potential threats, they can quickly return to their tasks and continue working. Further, fewer accidents and incidents mean less process downtime, so employees can continue to meet deadlines and objectives.
Your compliance training best practices allow companies to implement educational programs that benefit and support their employees. Some tips to consider when creating your compliance training courses include:
Incorporating multiple media types: Everyone learns in different ways. Training courses that use visual, auditory and video elements engage more people, keeping them interested in materials and actively learning. Engagement is essential when you want employees to absorb and remember information later.
Increasing compatibility and accessibility: As technology advances, employees incorporate several devices into their daily routines. Many rely on their mobile phones or tablets to work on the go or serve as another screen. When you want to cater to employee habits and schedules, select a platform that works on multiple devices. Employees can access their training courses, information and essential documents anywhere work takes them.
Ending courses with tests: Tests are a great way to assess learning and maintain engagement. Employees who have to complete a test to finish or pass the course are more likely to pay attention throughout. After, they can apply what they learn, helping solidify information retention. Employers can also use test scores to identify who might need extra training or concepts that pose potential risks.
Creating learning paths: When you have several compliance training courses employees must complete before getting started or passing annual requirements, you can make training more actionable with learning paths. These visuals track progress and split up information into smaller bits. Employees will feel more prepared to learn and can better manage time. Learning paths also make it easy to access the information later by organizing courses and documents neatly in platforms.
When you want to increase learning and training efficiency, you must use the right strategies. Implementing these practices can streamline your compliance training processes for employers and employees.
Many companies launch training courses, including compliance courses, with learning management software (LMS). These digital solutions simplify implementation and updates while instructing employees on all the essential information they need. LMS solutions come with various features and characteristics, so when you want to invest, you need to know how to find the right one. Some elements that define high-quality LMS include:
Easy to use
Easy to update and adapt
Compatible with other applications
These features can enhance your employees' experiences and yours. With the right features, employees can efficiently complete training courses without issues, creating a more positive experience with your company and training processes. Their experience can encourage them to take more training initiatives later, growing their careers.
Additionally, features like data tracking and compatibility offer more benefits to employers, who can understand their employees' behaviors or easily implement training solutions within various departments. For a more streamlined training system, your LMS features can support your organization's goals and needs.
When you want to prioritize organization and visibility with training, you need the right LMS solution. ISOtrain specializes in employee training, offering a platform that supports business needs with data tracking, style configuration and integration capabilities. Designed for companies in more regulatory industries, ISOtrain tracks compliance training for several organizations, including the FDA.
Contact ISOtrain today to request a demo and discover how compliance training with us can protect your company and employees.