Compliance Training For A Virtual Workforce
Work from home was a necessity during the pandemic, however, it seems like many companies and employees wish to work remotely in the future as well. You are probably working from home yourself as I say this. Striking the right work-life balance seemed like a difficult goal until we all started working in the comfort of our homes.
According to Forbes, by the conclusion of 2022, 25% of all jobs in North America will be virtual, and the number of remote possibilities will rise through 2023. It goes without saying that preparing your team for the upcoming future would be a great responsibility.
The rules for online work culture have to be different. Moreover, the employees need to get better at protecting their data. There are ample things that need to be taught to your employees. Compliance training for your virtual workforce will look and feel a bit different, but it is unavoidable.
How different would virtual compliance training be?
Some compliance training topics like company policies and anti-harassment training would still be in your compliance training program. But there would be a few more additional topics related to security on virtual platforms.
This major shift would affect the L&D department more than it would the employees. Organizing training virtually and introducing new relevant topics won’t be very easy. We are discussing some topics you can cover in your virtual compliance training in a while, so keep reading.
The use of and reliability of Learning Management Systems would increase considerably. LMSs are known to eliminate the biggest challenges of a training program – lower engagement, inaccurate feedback, and inconvenience to the employees.
With gamification features in LMS, you can help people feel more involved, motivated, and engaged in the whole program. As far as feedback is concerned, there is no better way to get feedback than doing it online and at regular intervals. Moreover, the analytical tools can give you a considerable amount of feedback to work on. The biggest advantage of an LMS is the convenience it provides to the employees. They can train whenever and wherever, on any device, and at their own pace. There is no way any offline training session can provide such convenience. Even for the L&D department, creating courses and updating them would become a breeze.
The only thing that you’ll probably miss is human interaction. Unfortunately, technology has limits and it can let you talk to people face to face but it still feels a bit different from meeting in person.
Another major difference you can observe would be the cost of conducting training. LMSs aren’t very expensive, especially if you compare the subscription fees to the cost of conducting training offline. Offline training has many expenses including the instructor’s fees, setting up a venue, printing materials, refreshments, and whatnot. You can eliminate all these unnecessary costs and save up a lot of money using the digital platform.
In a nutshell, it’s going to be quite different from what it has been all these years for both employers and employees.
What should be included in the training?
So, if it’s going to be different, what exactly do you include in your program? Here are some things your remote compliance training must have.
Are you sure your employees know how to protect their devices from cybercriminals? A data breach can ruin your business in no time. If you are a startup, poor cybersecurity can lead to the termination of your beloved business. With employees working remotely on their own devices or devices provided by the company, there are greater chances of them falling into a trap laid by a crafty cyber-criminal. In such a case, it isn’t the employee who is at fault but your poor training program.
Make sure your compliance training talks about cybersecurity, what will happen if the data gets leaked and how to avoid getting into the criminal’s trap.
I would recommend you even cover the simplest things in this training. For example, explain to them the procedure followed by your team to send emails so that they can recognize emails that seem fishy. Also, teach them how to file a query related to such doubtful emails to the IT department.
You could also educate them on the protective measures that your IT team has used. Tell them why it is necessary to restrict the use of any Bluetooth devices on the laptop and other essential measures taken by your IT team.
Even one employee falling into a trap can bring your business to a halt. This situation can be avoided easily by training the employees regarding cybersecurity on regular basis.
Security and privacy on mobile devices
Since none of the employees are in the office, tracking the progress requires companies to track the activities on the employee’s device. Employees are not limited to working from their desktops so they can use a laptop or mobile or an iPad. They may be reluctant to install any tracking software on their personal devices to ensure their privacy.
You will have to educate your employees that none of the tracking methods you use can track the employee’s personal information. For example, if you’re using an LMS for training purposes and your employee accesses it via his mobile device, you need to inform your employees that what they do outside the LMS is none of your business and you do not track it either.
Work from home policies
If your workplace is changing the policies and rules that your employees need to follow in the new workspace, it should be clearly stated. All companies need to first create their work-from-home policies and then educate the existing and new employees who would be working remotely hereafter about the new policies. Some things you can include in your work-from-home policies are below.
- Working hours ( with reporting time)
- How and when to report to the manager
- How to behave in a meeting
- How to request calls from higher-ups
- Communication channels to be used
- Salary and compensation for extra hours.
- How to maintain work-life balance
HR and Management exclusive compliance training
You might also be required to arrange exclusive training for HRs, managers, and all other higher management people. The way they managed the teams and ask for the work to be submitted would be way different than what it was before. You will have to train them to manage an online workforce. There might be some software that you’ll have to use to track employees’ location and progress. Technical training like this would also be a very important part of your compliance training.
Maintaining the safety of the client’s information
Under no circumstance would you want your client’s confidential information to reach the people who don’t belong to your organization. You need to train your employees on how they can maintain this secrecy while being surrounded by their family members. Also, make them aware of the consequences of discussing the client’s project and other confidential information with anybody else.
Despite being in their own homes, there are some ethical policies that your employees need to follow. Your compliance training should cover these ethics properly in order to ensure positive work culture.
Despite being in the safety and comfort of their own homes, harassment can still happen. Make sure your employees know that your company will be by the victim’s side and introduce your zero-tolerance policies. Help managers with how they can solve harassment complaints on a virtual platform. Make it clear to your employees from the bottom-most level to the higher authorities that the company will not tolerate such activities and strict action would be taken. Also, use this opportunity to communicate that any decision the management takes, would be made after listening to both parties, and favoritism would be avoided at all costs.
The transition from offline to online or hybrid would a bit difficult. While you and your employees are adjusting to the “new normal” making sure all the rules and regulations are followed by the employees is your duty. You can buy a good LMS and make your job even easier.
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