Compliance training: how storytelling can enhance learning

November 13, 2018
LRN Corporation

What if compliance training could not only be a necessary and essential means of protecting organizations and employees, but also an exciting learning opportunity?

Compliance training courses don’t have to be dull. Despite their bad rap in the past, there are plenty of ways to liven up the material and present it in a way that motivates and even inspires your employees.

With new elements like eLearning visual design, courses can now engage learners through visually appealing designs and powerful content. The key to making these courses both interesting and informative is their presentation and delivery. So, what are some ways to present compliance training material such that it resonates? One way to capture and engage your audience is through storytelling.

Four Reasons Why Your Compliance Training Should Tell a Story

1. Stories resonate with us

Who doesn’t love a good story? From narrative-based podcasts such as Serial and This American Life to binge-able Netflix documentaries like Making a Murderer and Icarus, people engage with stories every day and constantly seek them out as entertainment.

But storytelling isn’t limited to the entertainment and media sphere. It can also be an important tool for capturing your employees’ attention in your compliance training program. Whether your employees are learning about the principles of anti-bribery, money-laundering, your company’s code of conduct, or other compliance concepts and regulations, drawing your audience in through stories, real-life examples, or hypothetical scenarios is far more likely to capture their attention than simply repeating information or listing concepts. And stories can be used in any method of training, including eLearning, classroom learning, or blended learning.

2. Training should emotionally connect with your learners

People crave human connection, and stories are an ideal way to facilitate this connection. That’s because stories include characters to whom people can relate, and, as a result, they become engaged with the narrative and want to know what will happen next.

Using characters, themes, and plot lines—real, imagined, or hypothetical—as part of the training process allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level, subsequently increasing the likelihood that your employees will retain the information from the training. After all, people are more likely to remember a powerful story with characters to whom they can relate than a list of rules or a jumble of information. To connect your audience to the stories in your program even more, you can customize off-the-shelf courses that feature generic stories with examples from your business, industry, or region. Doing so will enable your audience to identify with the characters and narrative to a greater extent, since the situations will be ones to which they are more likely to relate.

Compliance training can be more engaging with storytelling

3. Storytelling allows audiences to learn the material in a unique, accessible way

Rather than using established methods of training that are less likely to engage and motivate employees, look for new ways to convey the information while making it accessible, digestible, and enjoyable. Using stories to contextualize information can improve the training process for both you and your employees.

Learners process the information in a unique way when they receive it through the context of a story. According to a research report by Professor Allan Fels, AO, Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, we consume over 70% of the material we learn through storytelling. That means that this is a medium that is conducive to learning, and a popular method of teaching new concepts, no matter what the content matter at hand—and something every organization should consider embracing when developing a training program.

4. Stories inspire and motivate your audience to act

The goal of any training program is to facilitate the development of the knowledge, skills, and talents of your target audience—in this case, your employees. So, how do you accomplish that goal in a meaningful way for both you and your employees?

Stories have a proven ability to motivate learners to work to achieve a common objective. Using a story as part of your compliance training can encourage and inspire employees to learn together and apply the material to their daily tasks and responsibilities, as well as to work together as a team. Your compliance training program has the power to leave your audience feeling like they truly learned valuable, worthwhile lessons if you engage them through a powerful vehicle like storytelling.

Stories bring people together in all types of contexts and settings. Are you looking for ways to motivate and engage your employees through a compliance training program that really makes a difference? Do you want to give your current program a makeover? Check out our courses to find out how we embrace the art of storytelling to engage employees to enable them to learn better. Request a free trial of our compliance solutions today.


About the Author

LRN Corporation

Ethics and compliance leader providing tools, education, and advisory services for global companies to inspire principled performance. LRN’s overall approach recognizes the inherent limitations of rules and regulations in influencing behaviors. In our view, focusing on actions that help build and maintain a values-based culture will mean more compliance and reduced costs as a result of tangible and sustainable behavioral change.

More Content by LRN Corporation

Most Recent Posts

5 best practices to nail your next E&C executive presentation

5 best practices to nail your next E&C executive presentation

LRN shares five best practices to presenting your ethics and compliance program and gaining stakeholder buy-in.

Learn More
3 best practices for branding your ethics and compliance program

3 best practices for branding your ethics and compliance program

LRN ‪Ethics & Compliance Executive Rebekah Oswalt shares how to create an E&C brand that is memorable and effective.

Learn More
LRN’s new EU Whistleblower course encourages using your voice

LRN’s new EU Whistleblower course encourages using your voice

A new LRN course covers the main protections under the EU Whistleblower Directive and outlines the benefits of reporting concerns to company leadership.

Learn More