The European Parliament is likely to adopt the EU Data Protection Directive, later this year. Also known as Directive 95/46/EC, it is designed to secure and protect personal data of all EU citizens. Organizations which deal with information about EU citizens will need to adhere to the guidelines laid out by this directive.
As per the new law, companies could pay fines as high as 100 million euros or almost 5% of their annual turnover for non-compliance of the directive. Once the law is enforced (which is likely to be later this year), companies have up to 2 years to follow and enforce the guidelines. Therefore, it becomes important that organizations train their employees about the new obligations and ensure that they adhere to the regulations.
So, what is the best way to train employees quickly and efficiently on compliance matters? It has been our experience that information-security training, data-security training or compliance training can be very effectively imparted through eLearning. Here are some reasons why eLearning is likely to be more effective for an enterprise-wide compliance training program.
Simultaneous launch across the company
With eLearning, the training can be rolled out simultaneously across all departments, offices and regions without any time lag. This ensures speedy implementation and adoption of the new regulations. Once the course is developed and approved by the subject matter experts, all it requires is hosting on to the company’s LMS or intranet for enterprise-wide deployment.
Use of scenarios and simulations:
Real-life examples that employees relate to easily can be used in the form of scenarios and case-studies to explain the responsibilities of staff members with respect to data handling. Simulations and animations can be employed to make the content engaging and interesting. Visual narratives are usually more powerful than plain textual or audio content and have a more lasting impact, and this is possible in eLearning courses.
Easier tracking and record maintenance:
It is easier to track and monitor employees who have taken the training. If the course is uploaded on to the LMS, you can track how many employees have completed the course, how many are yet to take it up and how many have started but not yet completed the course. This makes it easy for the compliance office or the manager to monitor the status and take suitable actions to ensure that all the employees complete the course within the stipulated timeframe.
Testing and certification made easy:
Assessments can also be used to understand to what extent employees have understood their responsibilities with respect to the changes in data security. Interactive elements such as drag and drop, puzzles and game elements can be included to make assessments less monotonous and appealing to employees. Corrective or remedial measures can be taken up on a proactive basis, in case employees fare poorly in the assessments, instead of waiting for costly errors.
Resources for easy reference:
A Do’s and Don’ts checklist, reference guides, or “how to” guides can be created as job-aids that can be included not just as a part of the training course but as handy reference guides. This can be in the form of static PDF documents or interactive digital resources that can be made accessible through mobile devices. This ensures that employees have ready information at all times to guide them about the new rules and regulations.
Rapid eLearning development provides a variety of creative options to ensure that your employees comply with the new EU data-security directive quickly and effectively. Once the training program is developed, it is easy to deploy to existing employees simultaneously and assign the courses to new employees as and when they join the organization. So, what measures are you taking to ensure that your employees will follow the new EU data-security directive during the course of their jobs? While there is still time for the new directive to come into force, it is never too early to be prepared. Do share your thoughts.