Five Strategies for Making Ethics & Compliance Messages Memorable

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Guest co-author Michael Kallens is the Associate General Counsel & Manager of Corporate Ethics & Compliance for Booz Allen Hamilton. 


In the digital society we live in, we are inundated with thousands of messages a day. Out of all the messages you see, which ones do you tend to remember? Is it the message with the catchy tune or the one with rich imagery? Is it the one that pulls at your heart strings or makes you laugh? Is it the one you saw on a poster in your break room at work, or the one you saw on You Tube?

If you think about it, you may be able to quickly identify a few key traits to good messaging—and good delivery methods—based on the messages that have “stuck” with you over the years. How can you ensure that your strong ethics and compliance program messages actually reach your intended audience—and stick with them? Consider the following strategies for your E&C training program:

  1. Use video: Use video podcasts to address hard to grasp concepts and messages. Videos are great tools to use to break up legalese and—depending on who is delivering the video message—can make the topic more relatable.
  2. Leverage social media tools. B. Braun Medical released its “Chain Gang Compliance” video to its employee population via YouTube and it was a huge success. While YouTube may not work for all organizations, consider using your organization’s Facebook or Twitter pages to drive training messaging and general topic awareness.
  3. Incorporate the concept of gamification into your training. This approach is especially useful in reaching millennials, but should not just be limited to this audience. Gamification leverages elements from video gaming to create fun and engaging learner experiences. One large client has successfully used war game simulations to train its board and other executive staff members and now the board members anxiously anticipate the next training session!
  4. Leverage your managers for training delivery and involve them in the content development process. They can provide great insight into appropriate operations terminology and provide valuable feedback on what will resonate with employees. Remember, this audience is extremely important as they will be your first line of defense should employees have questions or need to report issues.
  5. Align your delivery methods with how your organization accesses information. Make content accessible via mobile devices, if appropriate.

With limited time for training in our fast-paced environments, make the most of the time dedicated to compliance training. Incorporate one or several of the above recommendations into your next training session to create an engaging, memorable learning experience.


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