​Mind the compliance gap - changing behaviour with learning

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Our Learning Designer Emma talks through the use of eLearning coupled with achievable follow up actions, as a way to change behaviour through the use of engaging and relatable content in compliance training.

eLearning is one part of your compliance toolkit. It won’t make your staff compliant and it won’t stop breaches occurring, only your staff can do that; but the right eLearning solution coupled with some follow up actions can take what is perceived to be a dull (but necessary) part of working life and turn it into a relevant, focused and interesting education for them. The aim is to change the way regulatory training is viewed or perceived and start changing thoughts and habits.

Mandatory compliance training, even for complex regulation, can be applied to real-life with the right content so that everyone who reads it can relate to it in some way and start to see through the fog of regulation.

Here’s an example of how the eLearning content for a regulatory topic can be made more relevant to the learner:

Introduction to MiFID II:

  • Have you ever signed a contract with a service provider?
  • Perhaps you purchased a phone on contract or signed up to receive a digital television service?

It’s more than likely that when you entered into a contractual agreement with that service provider, you were automatically protected by some form of consumer protection law.

Those laws and regulations give you the right to take action against your provider if they fail to adhere to the contractual agreement. The laws often determine what details are in the contract and what information you, as a consumer, must be made aware of by the provider. Your rights and obligations should be clear.

Financial Service providers are also bound by such regulations. So, the processes you carry out, the documentation you provide and all the information and advice you give to a client enhance the level of consumer protection, as well as increasing transparency.

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, or MiFID II as it’s known, is one such regulation. When this regulation comes into force, in January 2018, you will need to know how MiFID II impacts your work and what you will be doing differently to achieve enhanced consumer protection for your clients. After all, if this was your money isn’t it what you’d expect?

The truth is, no one wants to make errors, cause breaches that require investigation and possible losses, nor require the creation of lengthy reports and a visit from the regulator; but if staff are having trouble seeing the relevance of the compliance training, then the kind of focused eLearning referenced above can do a lot to help people view it differently.

So, what happens next?

After completing eLearning there are some follow-up actions that can help:

1. Empower your staff to help move the business through regulatory change by involving them.

2. Let the eLearning course spark a thought or a question and follow it up with a task for a team to complete, for example. Having established that the newest regulations will have an impact on business, ask your staff which processes may need to change and how.

3. Guide them, but also let them determine for themselves the impact and changes needed.

4. Involve them in the process of change from re-writing procedures to testing the new systems/processes and contributing to solving testing issues.

5. Giving staff some ownership (with you still firmly at the helm) will show them their expertise matters and can make the whole process easier.

6. Going forward make the topic of regulation a more regular feature perhaps in monthly team meetings, make it feel more normal and part of everyday business.

In my experience as a former operations manager in investor services, this approach can help ensure regulations and changes are understood, implemented smoothly and that the learning sticks.

We’ll probably never see staff skipping with excitement about the next regulation, but if they can see what’s in it for them there’s a much better chance that attitudes and behaviours will change, reducing the risk of falling through a compliance gap.

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