One of the biggest challenges in instructional design is getting the learner interested, motivated, and engaged in mandatory learning experiences.

Developing mandatory or compliance training for job safety, corporate security, OSHA, HIPAA, etc. is challenging because the learner may not be self-motivated to complete the program. It’s a matter of something they “have” to do rather than something they “want” to do. Typically, the learner may not be motivated to take this training because unlike other types of corporate training programs, it rarely equates to a bump on the pay scale, increased job responsibilities, or other tangible benefits. So, how do you get the learner interested and engaged?

Give learners realistic examples that highlight the importance of the topic Compliance training is usually serious business. These programs are compulsory because they highlight policies and procedures directly related to the employee’s safety. In order for the learner to retain the key message of the training, it is important to tie it directly to the learner’s own life.

Use statistics to reinforce consequences Providing the learner with meaningful statistics to reinforce the consequences or impact of certain actions can go a long way. For example, in a course on laptop security, you may want to give the learner some statistics on how often corporate laptops are stolen, and the types of data breaches that can happen as a result.

The following article describes the impact of providing real-world examples in compliance training:

Choose graphics that are directly relevant to the topic When you are dealing with a topic that concerns interactions between people, use relevant graphics that support the message. For example, when creating training about sexual harassment in the workplace, photographic images of real people showing real emotions is far more effective than cartoon images or graphics that have a metaphorical meaning.

Give learners the option to test out A lot of compliance training is something that must be completed year after year. If a learner has previously completed and passed the training program, give them the option to jump straight to the assessment in the future.

The following article describes three simple ways to improve compliance training. These include creating a game-like environment, giving the learner the option to test-out, and creating branching scenarios to provide just the most relevant content to each individual learner.

Let the learner be in control Adult learners like to be treated like adults. Give the learner the ability to navigate through the course in whatever order they prefer. Likewise, don’t enforce timing restrictions on specific pages or sections of a course. Timing restrictions rarely guarantee that the learner will absorb the information just because they’re forced to stare at it for a longer period of time.

The following article describes a successful implementation of compliance training that gave the learner the ability to choose when and how to complete the program.

Find creative ways to get the message across Compliance training doesn’t have to be synonymous with “boring”. Take advantage of a combination of multimedia elements that will keep the learner engaged and focused on the content. Using a short and relevant video clip to reinforce a topic has more impact than onscreen text and static graphics.

By creating compliance training with these things in mind, you can ensure that your learner not only completes the training, but also has a meaningful learning experience in the process. By keeping content relevant, focused, and relatable, the training program becomes a valuable asset. Learners will understand the impact and implications of the topic, making them more likely to assimilate the recommended policies and procedures into their daily job activities.