It’s hard to find a company nowadays that isn’t investing in compliance training for employees. This is because there are so many laws and regulations out there, it can be difficult to stay on top of them all. But training doesn’t just benefit the company – it also benefits the employee!
Compliance training helps you understand your rights as an employee, what types of behavior are prohibited, what you should do if someone else violates the policy, how to file a complaint about illegal activity or harassment in the workplace, and much more. Training programs vary depending on where they’re offered (e.g., online courses vs live workshops), but here are some things that you should know about compliance training.
What is Compliance Training?
Compliance training is when an employer teaches its workers about anti-discrimination, privacy, and other laws that affect the workplace. Sometimes this training is done online, but more often companies offer it in a workshop or classroom format. It’s a way for employees to learn how to do their jobs in compliance with company policy and federal, state, and local employment law.
Why Is It Important?
Compliance training is important because, without it, workers may be unaware of the laws that apply to their jobs. Even companies with large human resources departments can get tripped up when trying to stay compliant. It’s always beneficial to all stakeholders if your company has a compliance training provider readily available. If employees are not receiving proper education about compliance policies before they start working for a company, then there’s a very real possibility that they might make mistakes.
Even companies with compliant policies and thorough HR departments can be susceptible to penalties or fines if they do not offer compliance training to employees. For example, if a company notices that one of their workers is making racially-charged comments about other co-workers, they should conduct an investigation immediately and follow up appropriately. If the worker’s behavior continues, the company should take disciplinary action against them.
What Should be Included in Compliance Training?
Compliance training programs should be comprehensive and inclusive, covering many topics that pertain to the employer’s industry. For example, an HR manager at a retail company might want to discuss dress code policies with employees during compliance training. Or compliance training could include information on what forms of compensation are permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Compliance training programs should encourage employees to report illegal and inappropriate behavior. Employees need to know how they can report concerns, as well as the company’s procedure for addressing those complaints. They should also be told what type of disciplinary action will be taken against an offender if a violation is found. It’s important that all employees understand company policy about reporting concerns, so they know what to do if they suspect illegal activity or harassment in the workplace.
Other things that should be in a compliance training includes
- Sanctions for noncompliance
- Internal company policies about reporting illegal activity or harassment
- Employee’s rights under the law
- Investigation process and policy for reporting violations
- Procedures for compliance with laws including wage and hour law, health care reform requirements, civil rights laws, and workers’ compensation programs.
How to Optimize Your Compliance Training
Compliance training is important, but it won’t do much good if employees don’t take the time to learn about company policy and employment law before they start working for a new company. Compliance training should not be the only way a company communicates its policy to employees. They can achieve compliance with employment laws by making changes to their onboarding process.
For example, companies can require new hires to go through an online review process as part of their onboarding process. This is a great way for employers to ensure that all new hires are aware of their employment rights and any compliance rules or restrictions that apply to employees in the company.
How to Deploy an Effective Compliance Training Plan
Organizational and management skills help us stay on top of our game and grow as professionals. From time to time, we all need a refresher course about how to keep growing and learning. The same is true for businesses that may need to invest in compliance training plans.
Writing an updated compliance training plan can be complex so you will want to follow a simple seven-step plan that will keep you on track. Compliance training plans should include company policies and procedures on all key matters, including but not limited to: health and safety, environmental concerns, business ethics, sexual harassment, anti-discrimination, anti-corruption, consumer protection, and data security.
Once you have created a list of key compliance areas that need to be addressed, develop your compliance training plan by determining the who, what, when, where, and how for each area. It’s important that your company keeps these plans up-to-date. If not, employees won’t have accurate information about how to handle any compliance-related issues that arise in the workplace.
Training Elements You Should Address in Compliance Training
Employers are expected to provide a safe work environment for their employees. Creating an environment where employees are not repeatedly injured on the job is one critical element of compliance training. When creating your compliance training program, there are several things you should address in order to fulfill this requirement. Do well to address the following elements in your compliance training.
Who Should You Train?
Your compliance training program should be available to every employee, including:
- Management and Supervisors
- Temporary and Contract Workers
Generally, the best way to train your employees is one-on-one. However, when this isn’t possible due to time constraints or because you have a large number of employees, you can use video briefings and training programs.
What Should You Train?
- You should outline the following in your compliance training:
- Rights of employees to work in a safe place;
- Your responsibilities as an employer;
- Your employee’s responsibilities within the workplace;
- Reporting procedures for unsafe work conditions.
What Kind of Training Will You Provide?
Your compliance training program should typically include the following elements:
- Written materials describing safety instructions and standards, as well as your safety policies;
- Videos or presentations on your company’s obligations to provide a safe workplace, as well as specific safety hazards that employees may encounter;
- Safety audits, to identify and correct hazards.
We understand that complying with governmental regulations can be time-consuming and confusing. And, let’s face it—compliance training usually isn’t the most exciting part of our day! But if you want to stay out of trouble or get in less hot water than your competition, compliance is key. We hope this article has given you some helpful tips on how to make sure you are staying compliant.