How to Promote Compliance in the Workplace


Giovanni GalloCo-CEO of ComplianceLine

Monday, December 21, 2020

Compliance is essential to any workplace environment. It ensures that your employees and co-workers receive proper training to do their jobs, and that they’re committed to following the proper guidelines.

Article 5 Minutes
How to Promote Compliance in the Workplace

Of course, training doesn’t always guarantee that employees will be compliant. In fact, many employees might consider compliance training an inconvenience: it’s boring, it’s complicated, and (worst of all) it’s mandatory.

If you want your employees to comply, here are a few tips to promote compliance and make following the rules feel more fun.

Should vs. shouldn’t delivery

Remember when you were a kid, and your parents or babysitters would tell you not to touch something? Suddenly, touching that forbidden thing was the only thing you wanted to do. It didn’t matter if it was a hot stove, a delicate vase, or even your brother’s dirty diaper, you wanted to touch it – and sometimes you did, to everyone’s annoyance.

Believe it or not, that desire to do what we’re not supposed to doesn’t go away as we age. For many adults, being told not to do something only makes them more likely to do it – even if they know it’s a bad idea. This is why compliance managers should adjust how they train employees and focus on the “rights,” not the “wrongs.”

Instead of telling employees what they shouldn’t do at work, tell them what they should do. Focusing on positive behavior instead of the negative will help employees understand company compliance without feeling that perverse itch to break the rules.

Empathy practice

Compliance training exists for a reason: to keep co-workers, customers, and other people safe. Whether you’re protecting someone’s identity through HIPAA compliance or protecting your co-workers by adhering to office safety guidelines, the goal is still to help others. If you want your employees to fully understand this, they need to “feel” how their actions help or hurt others.

Engaging your employee’s empathetic sides is key to promoting compliance in the workplace. When workers understand how their behavior can affect others, they’ll be more likely to comply with company policies.

Empathy is essential for diversity training, sexual harassment training, or any other form of compliance management. But how do you get your employees to really feel that empathy? Use emotional stories, act out skits during training, or show videos of people telling their stories of harassment, discrimination, or other forms of non-compliance. This will help your workers fully understand the effects of their actions.

Compliance games

Games are effective learning tools for humans and can reinforce concepts during compliance training. It’s much more engaging than listening to a lecture and can help your employees to pay attention and retain the information from your training. Additionally, interactive games can help foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork between co-workers, leading to a better working environment overall.

What kind of games should you play? Here are a few:

  • Try a scavenger hunt where workers spot examples of non-compliance (set them up yourself around the office)
  • Make your compliance rules into a trivia game
  • Split the group into two teams and have them compete to create slogans, posters, or skits related to compliance topics

Short, digestible videos

One of the biggest problems facing compliance managers is lack of interest on the part of their trainees. Discussing rules and regulations for several hours can be tedious – but when employees check out during training, non-compliance runs rampant. However, there’s a way to prevent workers’ eyes from glazing over halfway through training: break it up into digestible sections.

Short, snappy compliance videos are a great way to educate your workers. You can send them the link via email with a deadline to make sure everyone watches or ask them to view the videos during a designated training session. Keeping the videos short will help everyone learn the information quickly, so your trainees don’t become bored or overwhelmed.


The most difficult thing about compliance training is that it only lasts a day or two, then workers head back to their daily tasks and routines – and everything they learned eventually falls by the wayside. This may seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but you can avoid this by keeping compliance reminders on the walls of your office.

Create some compliance-related posters, flyers, or infographics and hang them in high-traffic areas around your workplace. This will help your workers keep compliance at the top of their minds throughout the workday.

Check ins over lunch

Finally, one of the most effective ways to encourage compliance among your employees is simply to show them that you care. Take your employees out to lunch or treat them to a free meal in the office (everyone likes free food), and then engage with your workers individually.

What did they think of the last compliance training? Have they experienced any issues regarding diversity, discouragement, or anything else in the office? Simply taking the time to ask your employees how they feel about the workplace can significantly boost morale – ultimately leading to greater compliance and a better working environment.

Compliance in the office

Whether your office is struggling with compliance issues or you’re simply concerned that good habits will recede over time, these tips can help ensure that standards and regulations are met and make your workplace more pleasant.

And when you work with compliance companies, it can be even easier: these services can help you develop digestible awareness programs, set up hotlines for employees to report instances of non-compliance or harassment, and much more. With proper training, the right tools, and an enthusiastic workforce, you can make compliance a piece of cake.

Giovanni Gallo

Giovanni Gallo is the Co-CEO of ComplianceLine, where his team strives to make the world a better workplace with compliance hotline services, sanction and license monitoring, and workforce eLearning software and services. When he’s not working, Gio’s wrangling his two young kids, riding his motorcycle, and supporting education, families, and the homeless in the Charlotte community.


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