The nightmare of every employee: Compliance training

Tero Kulha
Tero Kulha
CTO, Chair of the Board
29.6.2020
The nightmare of every employee: Compliance training

What kind of feelings does ‘compliance training’, awake in you? Joy, fun, motivation, engagement? Maybe not. Let’s face it: compliance training is probably the most boring thing you can come across in your professional life. But it doesn't have to be.


According to one definition compliance refers to “a company obeying all of the legal laws and regulations in regards to how they manage the business, their staff, and their treatment towards their consumers. The concept of compliance is to make sure that corporations act responsibly.”

On top of the laws and regulations one can add guidelines, specifications and different standards. Adding all these ”things to be followed” together, it is obvious that being compliant is not an easy mission for any organization.

Companies can insist that they are compliant, but actually it is the concrete actions of individuals in the company – the employees – that determine if the company as a whole comply with the given rules. Therefore becoming and staying compliant requires that the employees are educated and trained to understand what is allowed, what is not and why.

What kind of feelings does ‘compliance training’, awake in you? Joy, fun, motivation, engagement? Maybe not. Let’s face it: compliance training is probably the most boring thing you can come across in your professional life. (I’ve got my share of GDPR training and I don’t want to do it again). Things get even worse, when these topics are taught (and tried to be learned) under the pressure and hectic pace of today’s business life.

What’s the outcome? The course is held, everyone pretends to have learned and understood everything. Yet, in reality, people were disengaged, didn’t bother, cannot recall, behave unexpectedly and the company might get caught not to be compliant. This may result in sanctions or even worse, damage for business. Not quite the desired outcome.

Is there anything companies could do to overcome this unwanted scenario?

We think there is. At the heart of all learning is the desire to learn – motivation. Ideally it is intrinsic, meaning that for some reason you just are interested in being able to master some new concepts. (Well, as we noted, compliance is not a famous topic to create intrinsic motivation.) In such cases it might be worthwhile to use extrinsic motivators to provoke that intrinsic motivation. Some ways to – kind of – lure people to be more engaged, keener on learning the topic in hand.

(To learn more about the essence of motivation in corporate training, you should familiarize yourself with the Kirkpatrick Model)

Gamification is an excellent method to improve motivation. Using game based elements as part of the teaching methodology turns boring topics into something more surprising, something more stimulating and – most importantly – helps people recall the things they have learned. A fascinating narrative, ambitious targets, clear rules and perhaps a bit of competition form Magic of Games that has engaged people throughout history. Today, compliance training is a domain where these methods can be applied successfully and beneficially.

Seppo is a gamification tool which enables you to turn any corporate training or event concept into engaging mobile games. Find out more how we can help your company succeed with the help of gamification https://seppo.io/business/.