It is common knowledge that employees at all levels need to be in sync with your organization’s Trade Secret Protection (TSP) policies. When I say “all levels”, even employees who come for an interview are included. But is giving your employees and prospective hires a set of papers with the TSP rules and regulations enough? Not really.
Let’s just take a small example of interviewees. Would they be interested or be able to retain the TSP rules and regulations, assuming they would be attending more than one organization for interviews? No. So, how to ensure prospective employees understand your TSP policies before stepping into your organization? How to ensure your TSP compliance training sticks with your existing employees? Using various e-learning techniques can help make your trade secret protection compliance training more effective.
Federal and State Laws Pertaining to Trade Secrets
Videos are not only visually appealing and engaging to your employees, but also depict boring rules and legal jargon in an easy-to-understand way. A video using creative simulations depicting what comes under TSP compliance and what doesn’t, will help prospective employees understand the federal and state laws pertaining to trade secrets better.
Existing employees can be given detailed e-learning courses in which these beginner videos and other gamified elements can be included for them to understand and retain the knowledge better.
Tools offered by organizations to their employees come under trade secret compliance too. Employees should not reveal information related to these tools. The challenging part here is to train employees with different roles and responsibilities. Conducting a classroom session for this purpose would be futile as not all employees of your organization need to be trained on these tools. Customized e-learning courses tailored to a specific target set of employees can be designed and implemented easily.
Employees need to be aware of the TSP compliance rules and regulations before using social media or other forms of communication technology. They need to be aware of what would be considered sensitive and confidential information and what wouldn’t be, before sharing on their social networks.
WebEx sessions can be conducted by senior managers instructing employees clearly on what a trade secret is and about the various TSP compliance rules and regulations they need to adhere to. Recording a live session and making it accessible to employees would help them go back and refresh their knowledge whenever required, which is a hard thing to do with instructor led trainings.
Co-workers and Business Partners
As different employees have different roles and responsibilities, they need to aware of the information they share with their co-workers. Sometimes a co-worker might not be subject to a TSP compliance policy and could have little knowledge regarding it. This might result in him sharing the information he received and breaching the compliance policy.
For instance, an employee who is using a tool provided by the organization shares information regarding it with another employee who has no idea about the tool. He would have little knowledge about the TSP rules regarding the tools too. This might make him inadvertently breach the compliance rules and regulations.
These kind of situations or case studies of existing breaches or experiences can be showcased in the form of scenarios. Scenarios are interesting and easily understandable by employees and also help them make effective decisions when faced with similar situations.
Training on what actions should be taken if at all a breach occurs can also be provided through technology-enabled learning methods such as videos, scenarios, and other gamification elements. Using technology as an aid to impart TSP compliance training would make it more engaging and effective.