Building a stronger culture of compliance — Defining the effectiveness of compliance training

Tom Fox

Welcome to a special five-part blog post series on building a stronger culture of compliance through targeted and effective training, sponsored by Diligent. In Part 3 of the series, we consider the always challenging topic of defining the effectiveness of training with Jessica Czeczuga.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) requirement for ‘effective’ training is one of the most challenging areas for compliance professionals. Fortunately, Jessica Czeczuga is a highly respected Principal Instructional Designer with a remarkable 25-year career in the learning and development field and as a seasoned content creator, Jessica has collaborated with numerous experts to create effective training programs that resonate with different learning styles. I was able to visit with her on some of the key steps to get Improved training effectiveness through micro-learning and metrics:

1. Adopt micro-learning techniques for content delivery

Adopting micro-learning techniques is an essential approach for effectively delivering content to learners, particularly in the realm of compliance training. Micro-learning encompasses the practice of focusing on quick, digestible and repetitious bursts of learning that serve to reinforce essential concepts while being easily accessible to learners. This method deviates from traditional lecture-style and PowerPoint-led training and allows for an interruptive and integrative learning experience that caters to the needs of varying learners. Leveraging micro-learning as a tool for training purposes allows for a higher likelihood of information retention and eventual behavior modification, as it encourages individuals to reflect on their own learning patterns and apply the concepts in a more seamless way.

Czeczuga argued that utilizing metrics such as pre- and post-test scores and survey feedback to determine the effectiveness of training and tailor the approach accordingly should be looked upon favorably by government regulators. But this approach does require collaboration between the compliance and training corporate functions in this process. The adoption of micro-learning for compliance training holds significant importance, as it ensures that all employees have a comprehensive understanding of relevant concepts and principles. Given that this understanding forms the basis of an organization’s culture of compliance and ethics, it is crucial to ensure that the training methods employed are effective in communicating this information.

2. Utilize interruptive training methods for behavior disruption

One essential approach to keep in mind when implementing compliance training is the use of interruptive training methods for behavior disruption. Interruptive training takes the form of quick, simple and repetitious bursts of learning that are easily accessible and cater to different styles of learning. This approach allows for content delivery that is geared toward disrupting employees’ routine and thought patterns to promote engagement, behavior change and a deeper understanding of the material.

Czeczuga noted that this approach can be especially beneficial for sending general compliance messages like anti-bribery or corruption communications to a broad audience. Both pre- and post-tests can provide useful metrics to determine the effectiveness of the training, while surveys can offer additional insights into how well the content is resonating with employees. In this way, interruptive training methods not only serve to catch employees’ attention and disrupt thought patterns, but also allow for a more objective assessment of training success.

3. Tailor targeted training for at-risk employees

In recent years, there has been a significant shift toward more targeted and efficient training methods, particularly for at-risk employees. As a result, targeted training for at-risk employees ensures that they receive the specialized instruction they need, while also making it more likely that they will retain the information and apply it in their daily work activities. Czeczuga explained that, even though there may be a need for longer, more focused training for certain employees who are considered to be more at risk, micro-learning can still be a highly effective tool for delivering general messages, like those related to anti-bribery. The interruptive nature of micro-learning allows it to be delivered in various modes, catering to the needs of different types of learners.

Czeczuga also emphasized the importance of tailoring targeted training for at-risk employees, as the consequences of compliance failures can be both costly and damaging to an organization’s reputation. Ensuring that these employees have the necessary information and tools to act ethically and responsibly is crucial in promoting a culture of compliance and minimizing risk. Collaborative efforts between compliance and training departments are essential for developing and implementing training strategies that strike the right balance between targeted, in-depth instruction for at-risk employees and more generalized training for the broader staff.

Ultimately, a well-executed and carefully tailored training program will lead to improved effectiveness and a more robust compliance culture throughout the organization. The usefulness of pre- and post-tests as a means of assessing training effectiveness have been noted, but surveys also have value in gauging learner feedback. Alongside this, effective compliance training programs are critical for professionals in this field. The steps outlined above provide a comprehensive approach to building and sustaining a robust training strategy that not only engages your employees but also drives positive behavioral changes.

From embracing micro-learning techniques and interruptive training methods to fostering collaboration between departments and reinforcing the message consistently over time, these steps can ultimately transform your organization’s culture into one that values and prioritizes compliance. Seize this opportunity to elevate your training efforts and witness the remarkable impact on your organization as a whole.

To learn more, join us for our next episode, where we will review a strategy for training third-parties. You can also review the key methods for delivering effective training available through the Diligent Compliance and Ethics Training Library.

Tom Fox

Tom Fox is the Voice of Compliance, having founded the only podcast network in compliance, the award-winning Compliance Podcast Network. It currently has 60 podcasts. Tom has won multiple awards for podcast hosting and producing and was recently honored with a Webby for his series Looking Back on 9/11. He is an Executive leader at the C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. He is also the co-founder of the Texas Hill Country Podcast Network.

He can be reached at