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Why Compliance Communication is more important than ever

We are in the midst of a ‘united crisis’. No matter where we live in the world, no matter what our status is and no matter what our role we all feel the impact of the pandemic - and will do for a long time after it is over.

Compliance and the hierarchy of needs

Because beating Covid has been a compliance challenge (“Wear a mask, stay distanced, wash hands) ethics and compliance are more front of mind than ever before. We have an easier message to sell:

be compliant or people may get hurt or even die.

If you are familiar with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, this is unsurprising. As you can see from Maslow’s diagram below, our lower down physiological and safety needs must be satisfied before we can focus on our needs higher up.

So now we know that safety and compliance are at everyone’s front of mind, we want to consider how best to communicate it. But before we do so, it’s important to understand how people are showing up at work.

Different work practices

To say that it has been an unprecedented year would be like saying the US presidential election was uneventful. It’s been a year like no other.

This has brought about a number of flow-on effects at work, one of the main ones being that people are working remotely. It’s unlikely that we are all going to be back to everyone sitting in the office for a while to come and perhaps ever again, particularly with organisations seeing the benefits of remote working.

Working from home has a number of knock-on consequences:

1. Innovation: We are being more innovative in our work habits and leaning into technology as a way of work and life.

2. Trust: Organisations are needing to trust their staff to work compliantly away from the office

3. Flexibility: We are being more flexible in our work habits and we are seeing our home lives are blending more and more into our work lives.

4. Vulnerability: We are being more understanding and patient when ‘things that go wrong’ on webinars and group calls with colleagues. We know that animals, small children and partners can walk in at any time.

5. Deeper relationships. We are being more collaborative remotely and develop deeper relationships with our colleagues at all levels.

Interestingly, if we break this down, we see that this ‘united crisis’ is a process which:

1. has led us to be more innovative

2. has resulted in organisations needing to trust their people,

3. in turn has led to more flexibility,

4. has led to people being more vulnerable

5. which ultimately has led to deeper collaboration and relationships.

6. as a result of deeper connection, we believe we can build a better culture of compliance

We call this the Crisis Connection, set out in the diagram below.

And, in particular, it is the vulnerability and deeper collaboration and relationships that uniquely, we can now tap into with our compliance messaging.

Produce Training and Communication that reloads not overloads

So, we know that communication is more necessary than ever, but it needs to be the right communication that ‘speaks’ to people. In difficult times, we need to be kind to our audience. That means not overloading them with more online unnecessary ‘must do’ training but reloading them with useful short bursts of content that will keep them stimulated and engaged. Relying more on "micro-learning" in this way is likely to be more effective anyway, but in the Crisis Connection it has become necessary.

Training and communication are no longer the ‘must do thing’ afterthought to implement a new initiative or policy. They’ve gone from being a poor distant cousin to all the way up to the Christmas dinner invite list. And therein lies our opportunity to get our compliance feast.

Maslow’s fifth hierarchy of needs: Self Actualization and kicking ass at producing your own stories

Self-actualization needs are the highest level in Maslow's hierarchy. It is the realization of a person's potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

Maslow (1943) describes this level as “the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.”

And that’s really what we want to see more people do when it comes to producing compliance communications and training. There’s no doubt that anyone who has first-hand experience of a compliance challenge is the person best placed to produce meaningful training and communications. So, rather than simply outsource a training need, we’d love to see compliance, who have the all-important organisational memory, ‘kick ass’, metaphorically speaking, and produce stories that move people and engage people to the heart of the matter.

Produce your own training and communications

As creators, we can tell you that we never start with artistic skills, we start with the story. And then we collaborate and go on to the ‘how’. This has led us to work with some of the greatest organisations in the world and collaborate some of the greatest compliance minds in the world to produce impactful, engaging training. Some of this has been produced using the simplest of methods and the most basic of tools. And you know what, it is in these times when together we have seen some of the best ‘ah ha’ moments.

As we stated, it’s been an unprecedented year. We have seen the uncertainty over budgets and also jobs. There is no doubt that for many organisations, the post crisis world will not be like the pre-crisis world. We need to anticipate the post pandemic world and what it looks like for compliance. That’s why we spent the past 6 months putting together a program for organisations and compliance professionals who want to learn to produce their own engaging training.

Everyone has a story they want to tell and a voice they want to use to tell it. If you are interested in learning how you can deliver your own online content, sign up to our complimentary Eight Mindset webinars: Training Start to Finish. You can sign up to our next webinar, next week.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Nicole and Jason

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