These days, no organisation can survive long without a healthy workforce that comprises the right people in the right jobs. Unfortunately, when people come to work for you, they come with their whole selves: baggage and benefits. And whether we like it or not, they will naturally bring their biases into the workplace – sometimes accidentally and sometimes intentionally.
For as long as human beings run your organisation, incidents of discrimination and harassment that have the potential to disrupt your company culture may occasionally arise. The only way to minimise these incidents is to ensure a robust mechanism for ensuring continuous HR compliance training. Ensuring that your employees go through these compliance courses can go a long way toward preventing these disruptive incidents.
This article will answer seven of the most frequently asked questions about workplace HR compliance training.
7 FAQs of Workplace HR Compliance Training
Question #1: What is HR compliance training?
There are strict federal and state policies, laws and regulations that have been put in place to govern the employment relationship and workplaces. Aspects of these compliance requirements change from year to year. And to ensure that employers and employees are constantly updated on these regulations, regular training must be held.
HR compliance training is, therefore, the process of educating staff members on the policies and laws that affect their day-to-day workplace roles. It helps prevent organisations from violating the law, among other workplace problems.
Question #2: Why is it vital to provide compliance training?
It is all too easy for individuals to give in to their biases and ultimately act in ways that create chaotic situations. Providing HR compliance training puts a check-in place for every employee. And so, to answer the question, the sole purpose of conducting compliance training at your company is to prevent inappropriate, hurtful and disruptive behaviours like harassment and discrimination.
When people are expressly informed that there are restrictions on certain behaviour, it can curb insulting and improper conduct toward targeted employees, enabling them to stay focused on their job responsibilities.
Consequently, HR compliance training is the first and most crucial step towards creating a positive, productive workplace and establishing a culture of integrity, trust, and compliance.
Instituting regular compliance training can also help you defend your company against any legal charges that employees may file.
For example, suppose there is a case of harassment or misconduct involving one of your employees, by being able to demonstrate to the regulatory agency that you have actively tried to prevent harassment at your company through employee education, you may reduce your likelihood of being charged to court. However, you must have tangible proof to vindicate your organisation.
In addition to this, HR compliance training ensures consistency in how harassment and discrimination are viewed, reported, investigated, and documented at your organisation. Your people must know what constitutes harassment and discriminatory behaviour, and they must understand how to handle such incidences if it happens to them and how to prevent them.
Question #3: What should an HR compliance course curriculum cover?
Training all your employees on what constitutes discrimination, harassment and workplace violence must be your top priority.
The training must show your people what behaviours are not allowed. It must detail the implication for such actions and emphasise that improper conduct must be reported. The procedure for reporting discrimination, harassment and violence must also be well detailed.
Another quiet area where discrimination can happen is in the hiring process. Discrimination in the hiring process occurs when a job applicant is treated unfairly or unequally because they belong to a protected class. For instance, the Nigerian constitution prohibits discrimination on the following grounds: religion, sex, origin, marital status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties, HIV status and union membership.
Your hiring managers must be trained to avoid asking direct questions about these characteristics in the interview and selection process or factoring them into any staffing decisions.
Other important areas to cover in your compliance training for line managers include:
- HR basics for supervisors. The content must help supervisors navigate employment laws and effectively lead their staff.
- Fair and well-timed performance appraisals. Few things can demoralise employees like an unfair or inconsistent performance assessment. Train your managers to be honest and direct with assessing the performance of employees. Their assessments must be unbiased, and they mustn’t be too lenient or too strict. Also, properly document any performance problems in reviews and other performance-related materials.
- Violence prevention in the workplace – Your compliance training should also include information on how to spot the signs of workplace violence and company policies for handling violent scenarios.
- Emotional intelligence and diversity in the workplace. It is crucial to provide a uniform guide for your managers to interact with different personalities and cultures. Train them to approach diverse people with inclusion and respect.
- Substance abuse in the workplace. Managers must be taught to identify the signs of abuse and report them promptly.
- Employee counselling skills. Always bear in mind that your managers are overseeing people and not robots. So, train them to appropriately observe, assess and interact with employees in ways that maximise their performance.
Question #4: How should compliance training be delivered?
As with every other type of training, there are two options for delivering HR compliance training to your employees:
Option 1: A traditional, onsite instructor-led session using case studies
A live facilitator who uses case studies and focuses on the audience’s active participation is the most effective delivery of compliance training. Ultimately, the key to effectiveness is having participants learn and apply the rules, and one of the ways to ensure this is to get the instructor to ask questions and ascertain comprehension.
However, onsite training is usually the most expensive type of training. It is most often limited to the initial rollout of the compliance program and training for new employees. More cost-effective approaches may deliver refresher training.
Option 2: Virtual training sessions or a self-paced interactive course
Though ensuring thorough comprehension is more difficult with this training model, it is the most cost-effective method for companies with employees spread out across several locations. The best way to maximise this training mode is to include interactive knowledge checks, such as short quizzes throughout the training to show that employees understand the material.
Question #5: How often should employees undergo compliance training?
Typically, HR compliance training is required at least annually for existing employees. However, new employees must always be given a one-on-one session on compliance.
Suppose you have already provided compliance training for your staff, in that case, you’re likely to have all the necessary information to share, like PDF files or long video lectures. You can use these to frequently give your people a refresher course now and then to ensure that they keep compliance on the front burner.
Question #6: Does the compliance training need to be monitored and documented?
Maintaining strict records that prove your company is compliant with employee compliance training ensures that adherence to industry or governmental mandates can be proven. So, yes, you should record when your employees completed each compliance training.
The most intuitive solution is using a learning management system to track and manage compliance and training records. Alternatively, you can capture a dated sign-in sheet from an instructor-led class you provide.
You could develop an electronic sign-in sheet for virtual training or keep records of your employees completing the knowledge checks. You should also retain an employee’s compliance training attendance history on file as long as you keep their employment folder.
Digital forms and checklists are also beneficial because they lessen the task of compliance tracking by:
- Setting reminders for employees to complete their mandatory training
- Quickly dispatching training to employees or teams
- Consolidating documentation into one place for quick access and review by managers
Question #7: How can employee participation in HR compliance training be encouraged?
Considering how crucial it is for employees to stay compliant, compliance training sessions must be accorded equal importance. The fastest way to get your staff’s full participation is to get your company’s leadership team involved. For instance, when the CEO sits in training from time to time, staff will immediately realise how important it is.
In addition, total attendance and participation at the training could also be tied to employees’ appraisals. Though this measure may sound overly strict, it will get the job done. The reality is that implementing thorough compliance training is vital to the success of your organisation.
Because compliance is vital for creating a safer workplace, increasing productivity, protecting your business’ reputation and minimising the risk of legal action, doing all that is within your means to implement it within your organisation is worth the effort.
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