Have It Your Way: The Personalization of Ethics, Compliance, and Risk Education

By Rebecca Turco, VP of Learning at SAI Global, February 17, 2018

Every employee in every organization is exposed to different risks and different responsibilities. In 2018, ethics and compliance training is poised to reach a new level of personalization that is specific to each individual. Learn more about this trend below and read about the proactive and reactive evolution facing our industry by downloading 'The Future of Ethics, Compliance, Risk, and Corporate Culture: 8 Trends and Predictions for 2018.' 

Ethics and compliance training is experiencing continuous improvement in the relevance and targeting of content for specific employees. The ability to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time has been achieved and is even now being implemented. 

Today, employees are routinely exposed to learning experiences that are specific to their role, responsibility, and risk level. That improved relevance and tailored approach is leading to more engagement, higher levels of employee satisfaction and, ultimately, a more effective program. Elements of modern adaptive learning programs such as profiling, action mazes, and test-out are becoming the standard versus the exception. 

In a case study we recently completed with Johnson Controls International, their Director of Global Compliance Programs was able to demonstrate a clear year-over-year increase in knowledge retention across all nine risk areas in their ethics and compliance program thanks to test-out functionality and the adaptive learning experience they've slowly been building towards over the past few years. The ability to test-out and measure the effect of that capability simply wasn't as readily available, or easy to implement and automate, as it is now. In 2017 the technology that supports ethics and compliance training caught up to the technology we use in our lives outside of work. 

In 2018, we predict that ethics and compliance will make a significant leap in user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) of these programs. Training will continue to evolve and become a more personalized experience, both in terms of the content that employees receive and how they consume that content. 

Unique employee preferences based on role, experience, resonance and interests will drive training and learning programs with elements from mainstream technology like curation and “playlists”, similar to what we see in Netflix, Spotify and Apple Music, adapted to business use. This “consumerized” approach will allow employees to pick and choose content and, ultimately will help companies drive adoption and retention.

These new elements of ethics and compliance training, combined with a campaign-based approach that spreads training out into short, recurring experiences throughout the year will provide greater insights into employee behavior and change the overall perception of “training” over the course of the year. By using technology to reduce the amount of time spent on training, we also expect new opportunities for face-to-face workshops and manager-driven conversations around ethical behavior, values, risk, and compliance. We're also paying close attention to the role of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, serialized content, and mobile gaming in E&C programs. While we don't envision that these innovations will become an industry standard in 2018, we do expect to see some experimentation in each of these four areas. 

Reflecting on our 2017 predictions

In January 2017, we made four predictions around advancements and innovations in ethics and compliance. We predicted that: 

1. mobile technology would give compliance training a facelift;

2. compliance would become a campaign (not a circumstance);

3. this campaign-based approach to education would take less time but make a bigger impact;

4. this education would shift from a “just in case” perspective to take a more “just in time” approach.

Within our products and solutions at SAI Global, these four predictions all came true. Mobile technology did give compliance training a facelift, as every new piece of content we developed over the last twelve months was designed and built to work on any mobile device and use common “scroll” and “swipe” behavior as part of the experience. We continued to help our customers shift to a campaign-based approach to their program, cutting down on seat time for employees. In the case of Johnson Controls, that reconfiguration reduced seat time to 90 minutes per year (versus 6-10 hours). Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 80% of surveyed employees responding that they would apply what they learned to their job. 

Lastly, the perception around compliance training has changed across the industry, with most acknowledging that taking training once a year on a risk area, just in case you face that risk in the future, will not always be helpful when in the moment when employees are faced with that risk. In the future, we anticipate contextual, push-notification-driven mobile learning experiences to make “just-in-time” training a reality.  

To learn more about this on our blog, read eLearning at 35,000 feet - how 'plane' is your ethics program? For more thoughts on the proactive and reactive evolution facing our industry, download 'The Future of Ethics, Compliance, Risk, and Corporate Culture: 8 Trends and Predictions for 2018' from SAI Global.