Engaging Your Remote Workforce: Go Beyond Compliance with Training

John Just


Remote Work TrainingEven after the pandemic ends, many employees say they want to stay home and continue to work remotely. A recent study by the Mckinsey & Company that looked at over 800 jobs in nine countries revealed that 1 in 5 healthcare workers, a third of education workers, and a whopping 76% of those in finance and insurance can work from home with no loss of productivity.

Maintaining training standards is certainly a key piece of a successful remote workforce, and as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the number of employees working from home, many organizations have questioned their approach to compliance training.

A new perspective provides a shift to a more employee-centric compliance program focused on being a method for helping maintain healthy organizational culture.

Given that KnowBe4 has more than 40,000 organizations using our content and platform, we thought we would share how some of our customers are maintaining compliance and company culture virtually through cadence, content type, delivery format, and feedback.

Divide and Conquer 

Many organizations have been delivering online compliance training regularly for a decade (or more). At a recent conference last year with more than 4,000 attendees to my keynote I conducted some surveys in the session. To even my surprise, over  60% of those surveyed were running security and compliance training at least quarterly, and many of them monthly. 

The concept of loading up 45 minutes to 2 hours of training content for a remote employee is becoming less and less the norm. Many organizations have decided that breaking up the training into smaller chunks that don’t overwhelm employees and doing more frequent training is the way to go. 

Customers have told us this “bite-sized” approach makes running the compliance training program easier and is better received by all business units. One customer that adopted this approach of more frequent training noted that help desk calls and general complaints went to near zero after four months when the help desk and compliance department would normally get flooded around the annual compliance training rollout. 

Video is Worth Millions of Words

Organizations have also been using the KnowBe4 platform to roll out training or communication to the masses as a “video module” rather than large meetings in Zoom or Teams to allow people to watch when it makes the most sense for their professional and personal lives. This helps to avoid “Zoom fatigue” that many workers are experiencing by having more control of exactly when to consume and a more Netflix-like experience. 

In this world of using a smartphone to make videos, you can easily break up the email and virtual meeting doldrums by mixing in videos into training campaigns. This also provides the advantage of being able to track who has watched it in its entirety. 

We have even heard of customers who use KnowBe4’s ‘Upload Your Own Content’ feature as part of compliance or security messages. The custom content feature helps include messages you want a remote workforce to know about without having a meeting or sending an ineffective email. 

We have also heard of people loading content to our optional training library and letting people learn more about the company and even security and compliance with great success since people have time on their hands and are at home. Our customers have told us they were surprised to see their people engaging with optional content on their own time.Remember though, keep it short and to the point. 

To Skip or Not to Skip

Another thing to keep in mind with remote employees is something that I am always talking about with customers, but is even more important in a remote environment: don’t “lock” your training modules. 

Sometimes people call these “non-skip” versions of courses. In these courses, all the controls are locked, preventing the employee from moving freely between screens. This is an attempt to force attention, even if they know the content and could move faster. 

Making courses “non-skippable”  is an ineffective way to promote culture and can make your training feel more like torture. Research autonomy and adult learning show that if you want your users to really learn - you need to treat them like adults. They will find a way around a locked module anyway if they are not motivated. 

Survey, and Survey Again

Lastly, if you don’t have surveys and comments enabled on your content and/or you're not reviewing those to help with your plan, you need to start doing that right away. 

When reading comments and reviews, don’t take them personally. Try to see them from a scientific perspective. Read all of the comments that are left,compare the ratings to other programs, and look for progress and trends. One KnowBe4 customer actually reached out to people commenting that this was “useless” to recruit them to help select the next round of training content to make it more relevant. 

We hope these tips will help you as you work to build a culture of compliance in your organization. Please send us your ideas and what is working well for you, as we will be happy to share them with your colleagues.


Want an easy way to take this advice with you? Check out our PDF resource version of this article! If you don't like clicking on redirected links, you can copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://www.knowbe4.com/hubfs/Engaging-Remote-Workforce-Beyond-Compliance-With-Training-FINAL.pdf 


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