Compliance or Behavior Change?
You are busy, your business is required to produce results, and you rely heavily on your employees to help produce those results. Training is probably seen as a necessary evil, or considered an afterthought. Something that sounds good in theory, but not something that is going to help your business get Results! What if you took a different approach to training and use it as an opportunity to change behavior and create a company culture.
It all starts with one simple question, “What is the terminal objective of my training?” Typically there are two answers, but how you answer can dramatically the result you get from the training. Many times we see the answer to this simple question fall into one of two categories.
- Meet Compliance: Employees should be able to pass a test in order to be in compliance with some sort of regulation
- Change Behavior: Help my employees understand the consequences of the actions on the job and ultimately transfer that knowledge to their job performance.
Your answer will dictate the type of training you develop for your organization and ultimately make the difference in the return you see on your e-learning investment.
A look at the use cases for each will give you a better perspective on the differences in the two answers. Many times training simply to meet compliance results in training with little to no interactivity, media stimulus and is primarily text and graphic based. The positive is that it will most likely be relevant to the users job function since it is of a regulatory nature and in most cases the employee’s job will be dependent on staying in compliance. The outcome for this type of training is for the student to be able to recall information for the test and pass. The return on investment is the employee keeps their job and the company does not incur penalties or fines for lack of compliance.
Changing behavior requires a different approach. In order to successfully change behavior the employee must successfully transfer knowledge learned to on the job skills. There are some key points to remember when delivering training for behavior change, deliver in small easily digestible learning chunks, relevant, easy to use interactive content. Appropriate use of media and you are much more likely to develop engaging and effective e-learning which maximizes ROI. Returns could be a safer workplace, consistent customer service, a defined sales process and of course compliance, on paper and in practice.
Before you begin your next training project ask yourself, “Is my goal to simply be compliant?” or “Do I want to change behavior?” You answer could change your business.