Compliance digitalization and learning


Compliance digitalization and learning

How digitalization can enhance compliance learning programs

While compliance officers stress that the role of culture and human behavior must not be forgotten, the impact of data and digitalization significantly enhances the compliance function. Can digitalization enhance compliance learning programs?

Our annual compliance benchmark shows that there is a positive stance towards digitalization in the field of learning. Of all respondents, 80% expect digitalization will enable companies to use more adaptive and compliant policies, procedures and training material. This is in stark contrast to the current practice of the compliance officers; they still rely on face-to-face training courses and e-learnings to raise the level of knowledge concerning rules and regulations.


Learner-centric learning

Often we see that a client requests Deloitte to set up an e-learning module regarding a specific topic. When formalizing the learning program reliance should not only be on e-learnings. Aida Demneri, Partner of Deloitte’s Governance, Risk and Compliance team, explains: ‘Learners should be the central point of attention in a learning program. What do they need in their work? How do they learn? How can the program support the learner’s needs?’

Most learning programs currently focus on formal training and information in support of work. However, the majority of learning is done in a more subtle and informal manner, such as through coaching on the job. High impact learning programs optimize the whole range of learning and focus on formalizing learning as a process. This involves building an environment that includes informal learning, collaboration between peers and many organizational activities (e.g. social learning (peer)coaching, action learning and mentoring) to facilitate continuous learning. Digitalization can support a learner-centric learning program that is adaptive to the learner’s needs. This involves:

  • Engaging employees at multiple moments during their daily work;
  • Leveraring various modalities to engage different learning styles;
  • Just-in time support to remind employees of key processes;
  • Stimulate regular reflection and feedback, including the discussion of failures;
  • Enabling knowledge sharing; and
  • Formalizing learning as an ongoing process.


Creating a learning culture

We see that both respondents of our compliance benchmark and our clients often set limited learning objectives. For example, an e-learning’s goal is to enhance employees understanding of anti-corruption legislation. The objective of the compliance learning program should be more holistic: its goals should be to (1) refine the compliance culture so that everyone understands the organization’s approach to compliance risks, (2) take personal responsibility to manage these risks and (3) encourage others to follow their example. As shown, an important part of the learning process is informal rather than formal and involves learning by example and by coaching on the job.

For a learning program to be effective it should evolve from only (one way) communication, to participation and education. Digitalization is a great enabler of a two-way communication and education approach. Creating a learning culture in which employees feel free to make mistakes, take time for reflection, ask questions and in which both formal and informal ways of learning are stimulated is crucial in attaining this goal. Involving senior leaders and line managers in the learning program is essential as the right tone at the top and middle of the organization shapes the organization's culture.

“Developments in technology are no excuse to lose focus on behavior”

Respondent - Deloitte Annual Compliance Benchmark 2016


Digitalization and learning as strategic advantage

Interestingly the compliance benchmark taught us that when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of these learning activities most compliance officers (over 70%) monitor the completion of compliance trainings, while only 40% monitor the results of the trainings completed. Do these figures indicate that the learning programs are simply a tick-the-box activity? Or do companies merely not know how to utilize their learning program in a manner that maximizes their effect?

When applied correctly, digitalization is a strategic advantage in compliance learning programs. Not only can digitalization help compliance officers to do their jobs more efficiently, it can also help focus on priorities such as ethical culture and applying learning into the daily work. In this way compliant behavior becomes part of the daily routine of employees, thereby improving proactive compliant behavior and creating a culture of ethics and compliancy. Digitalization will enable companies to create and adapt the learning programs to the needs of the learners and the organization.


More information

Would you like to know more on compliance digitalization and learning programs? Please contact Joost Bruinsma via +31882880122.

“We have to use new IT-methods to save time, but the human senses and brain are indispensable”

Respondent - Deloitte Annual Compliance Benchmark 2016

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