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Mandated Training

A recent Inside Higher Ed article reported a $500 fine being levied against a University of Illinois faculty member for skipping state-mandated ethics training. What a surprise it was to learn that at least one state was actually putting some teeth into compliance training mandates.

In my experience there were three categories of individuals who were the perennial culprits: (1) employees whose supervisors don’t want to allow them time away from the job to attend, (2) faculty and (3) top level administrators. The first group would readily participate if given a chance. The faculty claimed to be too busy or, by their very independent nature, disdainful of anything mandated. Executives, seemed to have the opinion that they were too special and knew everything anyway.

In implementing on-line training, with attendant reporting and recordkeeping, the job of monitoring compliance was made much easier. The training could be completed on the worksite and even done in increments. Managers were provided with a report on those having completed the training and those who needed to be reminded. After a reasonable period of time, the executive team was provided with a report detailing information on the truants, by department. That role of “HR Police” was both uncomfortable and frustrating. The threat of being found out of compliance by system or state auditors, with attendant reports going to the Board of Regents, was the big stick that no HR professional wants to wield.

How many of you face an on-going challenge to get employees to participate in mandated training? Have you found ways to increase willing participation through incentives or other means?

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