Compliance training and development has become a valid, growing concern. Because of legal and public relations reasons, many organizations demand tougher compliance from their employees than governing state or national bodies require. More importantly, compliance training functions to educate employees about why safety regulations are important and why it is in their best interest to adhere to these requirements. Owners and management alike have begun to realize that when it comes to employee and worksite safety, it is far better to err on the side of safety. So much like insurance, too much compliance is rarely a bad thing.
Why It’s Important To Everyone
In one sense, compliance and safety training is a reaction to workplace accidents and injury. When employees get hurt on the job, insurance premiums rise, taking a bite out of company profits. When employees are properly trained about how to function and navigate through potential dangers at work, injury incidents go way down and companies spend less on insurance.
Additionally, it is a good idea for organizations to hedge their bets regarding potential lawsuits springing from workplace injury. An employee documented as being properly trained in safety protocols will be much less likely to follow up an injury incident with legal action. If someone is trained on how to explicitly avoid potential dangers and is injured nonetheless, the ownness of the accident tends to be a little bit more on the shoulders of the individual involved, rather than exclusively on that of the company. All of this of course, depends upon the nature of the accident.
In a more altruistic sense, compliance and safety training is being driven by companies who actually are concerned about the well-being of their people. It has come to be recognized among progressive employers, that healthy employees are in fact, more productive employees.
Now this is arguably somewhat self-serving. However, it does not change the fact that employers who once viewed their people as expendable, are beginning to sing a different tune. Health and happiness tend to walk hand in hand. Happy employees display far better performance than people who have been injured, are in chronic pain or distress and subsequently become distracted by medication and circumstances.
The difficulty of addressing compliance training is twofold. First Off, the challenge of implementing a compliance program is that it must be industry specific, while guaranteeing employee competency and improved job skills performance. However traditional classroom based training for various reasons, fails to deliver these results. Because the majority of employees in many high-risk industries (such as mining or oil and gas) are in the field most of the time, it is impractical to bring staff into corporate headquarters to partake in training seminars. Even when this can be achieved, peer pressure behavior and rampant cheating prevail.
Secondly, employee obedience and adherence to the training itself becomes an issue. Convincing employees who have experienced training that it is in their best interest to comply with what they have learned, is where the challenge really exists.
In the contemporary workforce, these challenges are most often overcome through online training or blended learning solutions. E-learning courses are developed to be taken digitally on mobile devices easily accessible to workers out in the field. This then solves the long distance transportation problem and renders expensive classroom-style training seminars unnecessary. Additionally, E-learning courses sitting on an LMS structured to track and report on staff learning progress and competency solves the issue of peer pressure behavior and cheating.
When employees are introduced to online compliance training from the moment they begin their employment, it becomes much more likely that they will accept the training as Standard Operating Procedure. Conversely, a company launching compliance training into a work environment that may never have been governed by restrictive conditions, can run into problems. Often it can prove difficult to convince employees who are accustomed to operating in a certain fashion, the importance of the training and why they should accept the new standards and practices.
Left unsupervised, people may choose not to follow regulations that by their very existence, complicate formerly straightforward tasks. In the case of this challenge, it is recommended that a blended training solution be applied. For example, supervisors qualified to reinforce the new safety behavior expected of employees, occupy a leadership position in the field. They can then fulfill the need for onsite coaching and through vigilance and enforcement, reinforce the premises of the eLearning course and LMS.
By pairing leaders in the field with engaging E-learning delivered via an LMS, any company in a high-risk industry can rest a little bit easier when it comes down to the safety of its employees. Knowing that their people have been well instructed by quality E-learning is an advantage in itself. Coupled with the ability to track the effectiveness of this training by employing an LMS, companies through compliance training, can remain confident that they have covered all their bases.