Benchmarking your training program is key to understanding your program’s performance, and making improvements. The NAVEX Global 2014 Training Benchmark Survey reveals important trends and insights that will help you critically evaluate your own training program today and make key decisions that will shape the future of your program. Because training programs are a critical part of an effective compliance program, they will continue to be exposed to increased pressure to demonstrate strong results.
Survey data revealed the top objectives, pain points and training program strategies for ethics & compliance professionals across many industries. The following key themes emerged:
- Culture Prevailing Over Defensibility as Main Objective: Respondents identified their top objective as “creating a culture of ethics and respect.” This is an important program evolution that signals a broader awareness of the need to help employees understand what it means to act ethically and with integrity—and a realization that desired compliance behaviors often flow from a culture of ethics and integrity. But creating a culture of ethics and respect tends to require greater investment of time and resources than “complying with laws and regulations”—the second most-cited objective.
- Time, Money and Measurement are the Top Challenges: While respondents noted many different program challenges, those that emerged as the most significant were available seat time, budget, and measuring program effectiveness. To meet these challenges, organizations will need to adopt new training approaches and establish performance metrics.
- Significant Concerns and Program Gaps Remain: Most respondents reported, overall, that their employees are getting the training they need. However, when asked more specifically about particular audience groups, respondents revealed significant concerns about the effectiveness of their training efforts.
- Diversification of Training Formats: Respondents are using a wide variety of training formats to reach and engage their key audiences, with six being the average number of formats used in a single curriculum.
- Quality is Key to Training Effectiveness: Respondents believe that high quality training is essential for training that truly engages. As organizations strive to build ethical cultures and change employee behaviors, a focus on quality will become increasingly important. Quality is key to effectiveness, with some instructional formats and approaches receiving higher marks in effectiveness than others.
- The Rise of Short-Form Training: Covering more risk areas with limited training hours and pressured budgets is a significant priority for survey respondents. A growing number are working to accomplish this through short-form training.
In general, for most respondents, “good enough” is no longer enough when it comes to the most significant spend of an ethics & compliance budget. As training program goals move beyond compliance and towards focusing on a culture of ethics and respect, more pressure will be placed on using training to drive behavioral change, not only to help build legal defenses.
With more ambitious training objectives and a rapidly-evolving industry landscape, compliance professionals need to ensure that their programs are keeping pace with the rate of change. By taking a fresh approach and building training programs that are mapped to risks and audiences, training can become a much more effective tool in protecting an organization’s people, reputation and bottom line.