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5 Ways to Improve Your In-House Compliance Training

I am frequently asked by credit unions how much and how often compliance training should be provided. Well, the first answer is the old “depends on the size and complexity of your credit union”. Not, very helpful, right? But, let’s get to some real answers that might actually help you take your training to the next level.

  1. If there is a regulation that affects your credit union, employees should receive some degree of training about it. Don’t try to squeak by using the minimum-that’s-required method and only provide BSA training, for example. It doesn’t help your credit union and it doesn’t help the employees if they are not receiving at least some level of information about the various regulations that affect what they do.
  2. Here is something else I hear often, “Management doesn’t want their employees to do all those online courses. They have their REAL jobs to do.” So, here’s the deal. Credit unions are HIGHLY REGULATED, period. We can’t simply stick our heads in the sand and say it doesn’t apply. If you can’t get buy-in from Management, go to the Board. After you explain to them that they are ultimately responsible for the Compliance Program, which happens to specifically include training, they may provide some needed support for enhancing your training activities.
  3. Just because training is needed on a particular topic doesn’t mean it needs to take an hour to go through the material. Some topics might only need 15 minutes to hit the high points, and that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is that employees are getting the level of information that’s appropriate.
  4. While online training is easy to implement, it may not always be the best approach for all training. Let’s face it, online training can be a little…um…boring unengaging. For the more complex regulations, for example lending rules, it can be helpful that you don’t have to create something on your own.  But, for simpler regs, maybe it makes more sense for you to do a quick presentation or PowerPoint that covers what you want it to (Remember the 15 minute training in #3 above?).
  5. Think of ways to make training easier. If there is a lower risk area for which you want to provide training, maybe you just email out a PowerPoint deck and employees can review it on their own. Check with IT to see if there is a way to track who opened the email, etc. You could attach a simple quiz that employees return to you. Or, if you have more sophisticated processes, you could use an online survey such as Survey Monkey to gather answers to questions. Yes, it’s a manual process, but perhaps the ease of this method for employees might help with that buy-in problem.

The bottom line is to cover all topics and be creative when providing training. It doesn’t always have to be the out-of-the-box online courses. And, who knows? Maybe your winning personality will be enough to get everyone onboard! Here’s to fun and successful training activities!

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