A new year, and a new decade, calls for new thinking. Here are five fresh approaches to get employees enthusiastic about your new compliance platform
Powerful experiences power transformation. Put the customers—in this case compliance platform end users—at the forefront of every compliance experience, and you're more likely to engage them in the kind of organic manner that will turn them into not just willing users of your compliance software, but naturally enthusiastic participants in your compliance program overall. Here are five ways to make that happen.
1. MAKE COMPLIANCE INTRINSIC"We might need to do something because it's the rule. Or because it's within the spirit of the rule. Or just because it makes good business sense. It's been very helpful to have a naturally strong compliance culture. If you can get that kind of mindset into place, you can design your policies accordingly."
So offered the CCO of a global investment bank in a StarCompliance blog last September. There are enterprise financial firms out there—like that of the Star client quoted above—that do a standout job of weaving a culture of compliance throughout every aspect of their organizations. They stress the importance of being ethical as a core value, and plaster attendant rhetoric and supporting messaging on posters, bulletin boards, screen savers, and compliance platform dashboards. Of course, all this amounts to little if employees at every level of the firm don't see evidence that the firm practices what it preaches. Making compliance part of the company’s mission and culture will inevitably lead to greater adoption of tools that will help employees hold up these values.
2. INVEST IN USER-FRIENDLY SOFTWARE
Even the best training will leave people with questions. And even the most attentive compliance officer can't help employees figure something out if they never ask. At some point, an end user will be by herself, staring at the screen, and desperately trying to figure out how to get pre-clearance on a trade or complete a cert. It's at this moment a user-friendly, intuitive compliance platform makes its worth utterly apparent. An employee that can get past this kind of sticking point and successfully complete her required task with minimal help or input is an employee that's more likely to return to the app in the future and do what's required of them voluntarily.
3. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT: MOBILE!
Make sure the compliance software vendor you choose offers a solution with mobile capabilities, i.e., a mobile app. A native mobile app. One that's been designed from the start for mobile use, and not just a shrunken version of the desktop app. User friendliness—putting the end user first—gets at more than just a good graphical interface. It also gets at convenience. Software that's there for them when employees want to use it and when they need to use it. That fits tidily into their day-to-day routines. Mobile compliance capabilities will make it simpler for your employees and your reviewers to complete compliance tasks on-the-go, which will make overall program adoption far more likely.
4. GET USER BUY-INConsider rolling out the new compliance platform in stages, building support and buy-in group by group. Start small. Getting "points on the board" quickly will build momentum moving forward. The first stage of deployment could be to a small group of reliable firm-stalwarts. They might be well known as early adopters: the type of people who love to dig into anything shiny and new. They could be those employees struggling the most with the old system, i.e., those most in need of a solution. They could be employees with the simplest needs, and therefore the easiest group to get up and running on the new platform.
And if any "market champions," as one Star client and compliance officer puts it, evolve out of this process, take advantage of your good fortune. Employ these zealots as platform ambassadors. They can be your informal go-to experts for other employees as the software continues to be rolled out to a wider audience. A targeted early rollout will also help you refine your training technique. Think of this stage as your test bed. These early platform enthusiasts will help set the tone for the rest of the organization.
5. KEEP TRAINING TARGETED, SHORT, AND SMARTMake training as relatable as possible to the people who are going to be using the new compliance platform. Try to connect the training directly to their jobs. Use real-life scenarios as much as possible. Tie their compliance tasks into the bigger picture of ethical considerations—of abiding by both the spirit and the letter of the law to do right by themselves as well as the company. Demonstrate the features they're most likely to use, and show them how the new app—ideally more efficient and user friendly than the old one—will help them get their compliance tasks completed more quickly, easily, and fluidly.
And rather than holding massive group sessions, where employees will be forced to sit through feature demonstrations irrelevant to them, train in small groups with employees who will be using the same features. And keep the sessions brief. Better to dole out new knowledge in digestible chunks. Dealing with limited attention spans is a fact of life for teachers and trainers. Recognize and accept this upfront and incorporate it into your training plan from the start. This isn't pessimism so much as realism, and shows your awareness of their needs and concerns.
Making training smart means leveraging the kind of content that speaks clearly and relatably to your employees. Short videos, made with some flair. Think YouTube. Tip sheets and checklists are good, as well; we live in a world of concise content (binge-watching Netflix shows aside). Step-by-step starter kits can also do the trick: guiding employees along the learning path of your choosing. What all of the above gets at is, putting the customer first. Putting yourselves in the shoes of the end user and treating them as the most important pieces of the compliance puzzle: because compliance begins, and ends, at the individual level.