Do your staff comply with their Compliance training?

Continuous education will move towards a positive and rewarding culture of compliance, giving you the competitive edge over industry peers.


Every business has a responsibility to deliver against regulatory compliance measures. This means taking steps to comply with relevant laws, policies and regulations and most companies are careful to make sure their staff are trained on this. To make sure that training works well, take a moment to remember that employees are human, which means they’re not always rational, can be easily distracted and might not always behave the way you expect.

Every year companies are hit with huge fines due to issues ranging from accounting scandals, data breaches right through to unfair treatment of customers. If the staff had all taken their compliance training, then what went wrong?

Humans will publicly and privately change their behaviour to fit in with a group. Peer leadership can often be stronger than the values forced down from above. These internal opinion former’s will influence the culture of the organisation, and that includes attitudes towards compliance. This goes beyond once a year mandated training. Embedding compliance into everyday work sets the foundations and expectations for behaviour across the business.


Understanding the commonly held values and ethics of your company and how these translate to behaviours will directly impact on how staff respond to compliance issues. Ask yourself where you would benchmark your company if you took a snapshot today:

  • Good: A common set of rules and a code of conduct to ensure staff are obeying the law. Group directives and instructions along with defined supervision and discipline procedures are used to enforce these messages.
  • Better: Employees demonstrate that they comply with the principles, mostly through their own self-discipline. When not sure they seek advice from line managers before they act and are prepared to delay decision. The individuals involved understand their own accountability, but also that they have a responsibility to their team and the business as a whole.
  • Best: Employees are actively living the values of your business. They do the right thing, when nobody is watching. They align and share values of the leadership team, their manager and their peers, because they are broadly similar, and where it really matters, the same.


Businesses are dealing with unprecedented change and uncertainty. When leadership sacrifice everything in pursuit of speed to adopt new ways of working, it can create a toxic environment. Not having time can be a common reason people cite as the reason for cutting corners on compliance.  

We can try to mitigate against this by being smart about how we deliver online compliance training. Some businesses are tempted to simply publish their legal documentation in its entirety and call it training. In these situations, despite the gravitas of the topic, they often experience very low engagement rates. This has the knock-on effect of taking more time out of the business as managers and HR teams chase people, to take a course that they will not engage with and soon forget.

Humans have emotions and these need to be engaged to make them take notice and care. For example, in the finance sector failure to comply with regulations could open up the organisation to money laundering. The spectre of unintentionally working to help organised crime can easily be made into an interesting story with personal drama and jeopardy, with villains and heroes and memorable stories. 

Humans resent being forced to do things with no perceived benefit. One solution we have deployed is to create compliance training gateways. Those people able to prove that they have remembered last years’ course through an online test are allowed to take the shorter version of the course. This one step alone improved engagement rates by over 60%.

Quality of design is important. One trend we have noticed over the last 6 months is clients gravitating more towards white space. After the more ‘emotive’ introduction discussed earlier, there is evidence that some of the core content should be given space to take the centre stage rather than be distracted by fancy graphics or gimmicks. It is this mix of approaches that keep the learners engaged.


All forms of training should be supported by consistent reinforcement from leadership and management, in emails from the CEO and in the daily stand up with team leaders. The glue that connects the different channels is the set of shared values, so incorporate them into your training.

Fenturi only make bespoke digital training courses, so we will make your compliance training an authentic piece of communication that reflects and contributes towards your company culture.

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