How to get your employees to take compliance training seriously.

When it's time for annual training on sexual harassment, discrimination and other compliance issues, do your employees' eyes glaze over? Do they start yawning?

Not many companies can boast of having staff who look forward to compliance training. While you may not be able to create Ted-Lasso-like excitement around your training sessions, you can help employees appreciate it and truly benefit from the sessions.

Giving them the old "lawsuit prevention" rationale isn't enough. All employees have to understand what's in it for them. Some tips:

Hit them in their wallets. Connect the dots for them, from the expense of fighting a legal complaint to the hit on the company's bottom line to the smaller pot from which raises and bonuses could come.

Hit them in their wallets, again.

In some cases, managers can be held personally liable for their employment law mistakes, and they won't be able to hide behind company coffers.

Harassment and wage-and-hour violations can become particularly problematic to individuals who commit them. Noncompliant supervisors (whether they violate the law themselves, or they fail to keep their employees in line) should face progressive discipline up to termination.

Save their time. If employees think the time spent in training is inconvenient, tell them to think about how much more time they could lose if a lawsuit hits the fan. They could spend more time in depositions explaining to legal counsel what happened to spark the lawsuit and erecting a defense. They could be called to testify in court...

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