Providing the right training for your employees can have a significant impact, even beyond meeting compliance requirements.
Your organization's HR leaders are probably faced with myriad compliance requirements that impact the work they do as well as the training, advice and counsel they provide employees. Using effective training resources to ensure your employees are aiding the organization in achieving — and even exceeding — compliance expectations is important. Finance leaders can play an important role in quantifying those impacts.
Going Above and Beyond
Terry Traut, president and CEO of leadership development firm Entelechy, cautions against compliance training that is your typical check-the-box training. After all, many businesses simply focus on doing what's expected. According to Traut, organizations should train supervisors on how to lead if they want to make meaningful, sustained impact on safety, quality or any other facet of employee performance. "When the supervisor knows what's required and knows how to effectively influence the required behavior, the results can be significant," he says.
According to Traut, after Entelechy provided training to 3,000 leaders at a large recycling and waste services business, the organization's compliance performance increased from 92 to 98.75 percent compliance — with a staggering 85 percent reduction in violations month over month.
OSHA's $afety Pays Program
There can be real dollar impacts involved in providing training beyond compliance minimums. Any gains are incremental and can reap rewards over time. Importantly, the reverse may also be true: not ensuring that training goes beyond the minimum requirements could result in higher costs, penalties and fines.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the potential dollar value of compliance and has introduced a $afety Pays program that helps businesses raise awareness of how occupational injuries and illnesses can impact their profitability. The program is designed, not as a new regulatory requirement, but as a resource for organizations to identify the costs and value associated with compliance and the impact on workplace injury. Employers can select types of injuries from a drop-down list, enter their costs and, based on prompts, generate a financial report.
Positive Employee Impact
Marta Moakley, attorney and legal editor at XpertHR, says going above and beyond specific requirements sends a stronger message to employees. Organizations that provide training programs about specific compliance requirements can impact their bottom line and provide a higher level of service and value for employees. For example, although only a handful of states require sexual harassment training for supervisors, organizations that provide this type of training can send a message to employees about the value they place on the well-being of employees.
The focus of training, therefore, becomes not about meeting some state or federal regulation, but about advancing corporate goals of tolerance and fairness. "The practice also has real business impact, both by minimizing legal risk exposure and by boosting overall productivity," Moakley says.
Boosting the Brand
Don't just make assumptions that more training can yield more value, though. By casting a wider net with respect to training programs, organizations may be able to identify and measure outcomes and use that input to make improvements in these offerings. In addition to tangible costs and benefits that can be traced back to training, another impact can be related to the organization's brand — both in terms of the role employees play as brand ambassadors and in terms of positive perceptions among the public.
All in all, it can make sound business sense for finance leaders to not just support their organization's efforts, but work to exceed compliance training requirements.