We Are Losing Our Audience
LRN recently published a comprehensive benchmarking report, based on a survey of more than a 150 ethics & compliance leaders who provided insights on their spending & staffing, strategic priorities, key risks and education approaches. In this blog, we would like to share some of the initial findings on key education & communication trends with you.
As E&C education and communications activities remain largely unchanged, it’s not surprising that the efforts of E&C leaders are having diminishing impact on galvanizing employee attention and commitment. Many are disengaged. E&C leaders cite “relevance of education to day-to-day work” and “online education fatigue” as the top challenges for their education programs.
Online education remains the primary lever at E&C professionals’ disposal. More than three-quarters of companies deploy online education across the employee base. But the time allotted to deploy this education is minimal. More than two-thirds of leaders said they have three hours or less of employee time each year to deliver ethics and compliance education, a small window to impact critical knowledge and reinforce the right behaviors.
Compared to years past, it is fair to say that employees are experiencing chronic online fatigue. E&C leaders may be relying on online education as a “check the box” crutch. This sluggishness to adopt innovative delivery methods is evidenced in the fact that only 19 percent receive classroom-based education. Facilitated workshops are even rarer (six percent). Another telling point is that only six percent of E&C leaders are leveraging social media to raise awareness and reinforce ethics and compliance issues. Fewer than half measure the impact of their education and communications efforts on employee behavior and only a third measure organizational impact. Both these metrics declined year over year.
How Do We Win Back Our Employees?
The road to effective and engaging ethics education has an entirely different look these days. Continuously evolving technology and the entrance of a resourceful, more tech-savvy generation into the workforce requires companies to innovate in the delivery of ethics and compliance communications and education content. Below are 10 recommended ways to engage and inspire employees:
- Integrate – Align all elements and channels together in a collaborative, coordinated package.
- Offer Variety – To inspire principled behavior, vary the means and channels of learning in a multi-dimensional approach.
- Sustain An Environment – Go beyond “messages,” and provide an atmosphere of principled behavior.
- Socialize – Create a community, and employ the collective intelligence and involvement of others by using social media capabilities.
- Communicate – Keep your messages “front of mind” by employing online and network technologies, and knowledge services.
- Promote Experience – Encourage peer group discussions that let colleagues apply what they’ve learned and build “tone in the middle.”
- Be Positive – Stress do’s, not don’ts. Show how to do the right thing and positively reinforce the right behavior.
- Entertain – Engage with strong story-telling and consider your audience. Frame the message creatively through suspense, humor,
surprise, and above all, with high production quality..
- Think Short / Deliver Often – Don’t do it all at once. Multiple brisk, well-structured lessons or key messages that build on each other
convey more information than one long one. They also cement learning by, keeping messages top-of-mind and creating knowledge leaders.
- Get Relevant – Know your Audience. Match education to job roles, geography, culture, and settings, so colleagues think, “This is about me.”