Adapting to change: Training Your Global Virtual Workforce

What you'll learn:

  • How are Chief Compliance Officers far and wide getting creative with communicating, training, and connecting with their employees, especially with much of the modern workforce operating remotely?
  • How are they measuring employee engagement and assessing the effectiveness of your training?
  • What is trending in microlearning?

Training Your Global Remote Workforce: Consero

As I write, it's been just over a year since the global pandemic forced businesses to close and offices to shut their doors. It's been a year of tremendous change for much of the workforce who still find themselves working from home and desperate for more personal interaction. While this change impacted where many employees spent their workdays, the need for E&C training was more important and relevant than ever before.

That was the main takeaway from a recent Consero webinar moderated by my LRN colleague, Paul Howe. He was joined by Angela Carter, Director of Global Compliance at Owens Corning, Darcy Morowitz, VP, Internal Audit and Chief Compliance Officer at Navistar International Corporation and Alistair Raymond, VP, Chief Compliance Officer at Avangrid, Inc. Angela, Darcy, and Alistair discussed their strategy and innovative methods used in 2020 to keep employees engaged with their Ethics & Compliance programs . 

A Blend of Learning Events and Formats

The E&C functions at Owens Corning, Navistar International Corporation, and Avangrid all faced unique challenges in 2020 trying to train their workforce remotely. However, the common theme for success was offering various learning formats to keep employees engaged. 

In 2020, Navistar had to pivot its cornerstone in-person annual compliance week event to a blend of online and minimal in-person events. While drastically different than previous years, globally live-streaming the event expanded their audience, allowed employees to feel more connected to the company's values and executives. They also added a competitive component to the program to help drive more excitement and buzz around E&C. One of the activities was a Game of Games (word searches, etc.) contest where winners got a chance to engage in a fun interaction with the CEO. Overall, the program saw an increase in participation during a year of uncertainty.

Avangrid faced a different set of challenges in 2020. Given 2/3 of their employees did not have a laptop, they needed to find innovative ways to keep employees engaged. First, Al Raymond focused on messaging that had a broad appeal and aligned to their corporate values. This led to more concentrated communication and training on ESG and Environmental Sustainability. Additionally, Avangrid engaged their employees through a Summer Compliance Movie Series consisting of a few films with E&C implications, such as Bad Education and Out for Blood in Silicon Valley followed up by virtual meetings to spark discussions with the organization. Check out a our blog post on staying connected.

Angela at Owens Corning was focused on making sure she could effectively engage employees in a meaningful way – to focus on their different learning formats at lengths. The program was set up with various "bites", "snacks", and "meals". Meals would consist of core foundational trainings while the bites/snacks included news articles, videos, and blog posts that aligned with the organization's risk. Angela even took training into her own hands by creating some of her own in-house videos, which received great feedback. Read more on remote training

Targeted Role and Risk Based Training:

One of the common themes that was consistently discussed across the panel was the need to have role and risk-based training to engage employees effectively. A few different options allowed the teams to offer targeted training, but I felt that Owens Corning had the best strategy. By conducting a risk assessment last spring, Angela and her team were able to build out a 12-month training calendar based on the assessment results. By taking this extra step, they now had a clear understanding of each employee's risk profile and could easily assign the most relevant and meaningful content.

Darcy, Angela, and Al all displayed the importance of being adaptive and dynamic in a compliance role in 2020. While most organizations were thrown into an unfamiliar situation, it was essential that the compliance function deliver meaningful content effectively. As employees transitioned to a remote environment, organizations needed to reinforce company values to guide employees through the grey areas. While it's hard to picture what the workforce will look like by the end of 2021, it's clear the compliance function will need to continue to adapt and be creative to drive impact.