New research from our sister companies, LEO Learning and Watershed, is now building a comprehensive picture of how L&D executives feel about measuring the business impact of learning. This blog takes a look at the key headlines and how you can start your own measurement efforts to get the most out of our learning analytics.
It’s been a question that’s been around for some time now: how can L&D actually measure the business impact your learning is having in order to prove ROI and other business KPIs? Recently, the rise of analytics tools and specifications such as xAPI have given us some pretty good answers to this question. The answer is essentially: use tools to collect data, then analyse it. Simple, right?
Banks. Insurance firms. Asset management companies. Organizations operating in the sea of financial services face more regulations than perhaps any other industry, constantly having to navigate the rule-based, compliance-driven, ever-changing waters in which they operate. Particularly in today’s global environment, these institutions must be able to comply with new rules, prove compliance and train employees to comply – and all the while, maintain a competitive edge. Not always an easy task. But with proper learning management, it can be done.
Putting yourself in the shoes of a financial services learning officer, charged with training and certification, how would you succeed given such an immense responsibility? What would be on your list of main concerns? Your list would, most likely, look something like this:
Access to training data to track employee compliance for frequent audits
Rapid delivery of training on Standard Operating Procedures to meet changing regulations
Training to ensure compliance with local, state (if you’re in the U.S.), and global regulations such as anti-money laundering, Sarbanes-Oxley, anti-bribery and anti-corruption
Alignment of certifications and training of new employees gained through mergers and acquisitions
Reduced talent management administration costs to improve bottom-line results
With today’s learners tending to upskill on the go, a mobile LMS is all the rage in the consumer marketplace. Different kinds of Learning Management Systems offer different features and flexibility, and the pros and cons of in-house and cloud-based systems depend on the unique requirements of your organization, such as its security needs. Picking the best solution is a case of considering a wide range of factors, so here are a few questions to ask.
Multinational and global companies deal with different regulations and various regulators around the world. Training records are nearly always reviewed during an inspection or audit by regulatory authorities to check that employees have received the appropriate training and their competencies or certifications are current and valid.
SOPs & Training Records
In environments where personnel are required to work according to written procedures, documented instructions or standard operating procedures (SOPs), there needs to be a set of guidelines that define the tasks to be done and what has to be documented to demonstrate that the activity was actually performed. If any deviations to the procedure are made, they have to be documented at the time of the deviation, not later.
Training plays an important part when implementing a new or updated SOP since the training is what teaches employees on the new procedures. This is where the learning management system (LMS) plays a vital role — being able to schedule and track the training of individuals on the SOP’s. It is critical that organizations are able to keep accurate records of individuals and their training plans.
Electronic versus Paper
There is no regulatory requirement that dictates whether organizations must use paper or electronic media to document their personnel training records; it is left to individual companies to make that decision. The major differences between the two media are:
Generated in LMS, stored easily and accessible to all appropriate personnel
Manually written and requires physical presence of the person to read the document
Individual signs on to a training class and is recorded in the LMS database
Presence is recorded manually on an attendance sheet
Completion is automatically recorded in the LMS database
Course completion certifications have to be gathered and recorded manually
Not always up-to-date as records are manually updated at a later point after the training is completed
Can easily view records online or printed as a report
Reports have to be manually generated from certificates that have been gathered, which may be incomplete
Before each important operation in the LMS, an electronic signature (e-signature) is required before the operation can happen
Manually signed or initialed documents are not easy to verify or prove as valid
Electronic training records are accurately updated with the exact version of courses taken; course revisions can automatically trigger required training to maintain compliance
Paper-based document control is prone to mistakes; paper records are difficult to control, may be lost/misplaced or changed without anyone knowing and version control is hard
Changes made to sensitive data are audited in the database with info on the type of change, who made it and when. Changes include any creation, update or deletion of sensitive data.
Physical checklists, manually recorded
LMS Compliance Considerations
e-signatures in audit tracking
competencies and certifications
proactive reporting, dashboards, and analytics
easy access to compliance content
Given the above, are compliance checklists and reactive reporting enough from a risk perspective versus true workforce readiness and proactive compliance dashboards?
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for the Inside Learning Technologies magazine on the role of learning systems in compliance training (“Is your LMS compliance friendly?”) Compliance is one of those topics that rarely get enough attention as one of the key drivers in our industry.
However, a recent survey by the Brandon Hall Group found out that regulatory and company compliance combined constitute the most important learning program for organizations’ business strategy today. In addition:
– Over 65% of organizations find it critically important or very important to demonstrate learning compliance to some external regulatory agency.
– At the same time companies understand that compliance is now impacting more on their workforces with over 60% of organizations claiming that compliance requirements involve more than three quarters of employees.
Compliance requirements for employees and organizations place new demands on learning systems that more traditional, developmental requirements do not. Our industry nowadays seems flooded with learning and talent management systems. But for such systems to succeed in a compliance-related role, they must be able to readily adapt to changing needs, operate at enterprise software level, and offer the requisite functionality around auditing, reporting, and security.
It is important that L&D and HR departments are up-to-date with the compliance requirements specific to their business. Here are a few suggestions to make this easier:
Talk to your legal team and to your compliance officer to better understand who in the organization is responsible for what.
Define clear requirements and objectives for training and the technology implementation.
Question your vendor and demand a software validation for the learning or talent management system. For the technical parts, don’t be afraid to ask your IT team to participate.
Make compliance an ongoing part of your business via well-defined workflows, checks & balances, and actionable reporting.
When it comes to training, reinforce formal compliance learning with recurring programs. These initiatives may include informal collaborations (such as forums to discuss ongoing compliance issues), on-the-job assessments (to better evaluate the effectiveness of the compliance training), and performance support (to provide easy access to compliance-related materials at the point of need).