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BEST COMPLIANCE TEAM
A team that came together over the course of the past two decades, combining researchers, writers, editors, instructional designers, law students and trained lawyers, decided to use this particular historical moment to create a new Workplace Behaviours course that brings together the concepts and tools of breach prevention with an aspirational push for organisations to create and promote their own diverse and inclusive cultures, within a single narrative arc
The team’s core focus has been to develop robust and functional compliance e-learning that comprehensively addresses organisational and individual regulatory obligations while distilling these technical concepts into plain, accessible language that caters to non-legal audiences
Workplace Behaviours project
Over the past 20 years there has been a concerted push for organisations to properly communicate to staff what is and is not acceptable workplace conduct through mandatory compliance training that typically focuses on breaches such as workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment. But more recently there has been an increasing interest in highlighting the need for organisations to balance this preventative focus on potential breaches with an awareness of how positive workplace behaviours can benefit organisations’ productivity and cultures through diversity and inclusion.
Our team undertook a market analysis of existing training courses offered by different vendors and realised that while many companies provide training on prevention and training on inclusion, almost none provide a single piece of training that covers both. It’s as if prevention and inclusion are separate topics, when in fact we are all trying to achieve the same thing: to foster cultures of respect and decency towards one another, based on a direct awareness of how our various differences can enhance our work and lived experiences.
The new course
Our team sought to channel the latest case studies, regulatory developments and cultural moments into this training to make it truly lively and leading-edge in its approach to the broad issue of workplace behaviours. In the past 18 months, we have seen how the #MeToo movement and developing news stories like the Brittany Higgins case (involving a parliamentary staffer who was allegedly raped in a minister’s office) put a new spotlight on the issue of workplace misconduct, particularly sexual harassment and abuse, and the fair and equal treatment of women in society. These developments have led to new laws: just recently, Federal Parliament passed the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect@Work) laws, which clarify the powers of the Fair Work Commission to give orders to stop sexual harassment from taking place at work, and increase protections for a range of workers, including volunteers, interns and self-employed individuals. We also wanted to help workers continue to acclimatise themselves to the present age of uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a mass migration of the global workforce to working from home. It was commonly assumed that remote-working would mean that there are fewer opportunities for workplace misconduct to occur, since there have been fewer opportunities for people to share the same physical workplace environs. However, research shows that workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment aren’t restricted to in-person contact. Research from Monash University has shown that remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for workplaces to detect sexual harassment, since victims felt isolated and were reluctant to speak up about online harassment that they had experienced when those experiences had gone unwitnessed by others.
These are sensitive and challenging stories and topics. We wanted to draw on the full diversity of our team’s creative, technical and legal professional skills as well as their individual lived experiences to rise to the challenge of creating this new course.
We gave ourselves eight weeks to write and design this course from scratch, noting that there was an urgent need within the community and all different industries to address the developing legislative requirements and general cultural momentum in a coherent, comprehensive and fair manner.
Moreover, we have noted that a recent global survey of CEOs by KPMG noted that young workers “definitely” consider prospective employers’ track records on diversity and inclusion when they select where they wish to work, and we have heard from candidates about the high regard they place on organisations’ diversity commitments during our own interview processes that led to the recruitment of our youngest staff members.
To bring this new course content to life, our designers created a fresh new look and feel that deployed images associated with our workplaces and working lives without being contrived or condescending. We wanted to respect the many emotions that the topics contained in this training could provoke if not handled sensitively. Our designers deployed cool and calming hues as a background to the training, with interactions that helped learners move along from the discussion of breach prevention to diversity and inclusion through their own self-reflective practices.
New design and technology
Our designers used GRC Solutions’ own proprietary technology Salt Adaptive to create the course and push the course out to our clients. As a cloud-hosted, centralised content authoring and reporting tool, Salt Adaptive enables courses to be deployed to multiple client LMSs at the same time.
Salt Adaptive courses cater to learner diversity with its inbuilt pre-testing functionality, which uses a series of multiple-choice questions to identify an individual learner’s knowledge of the topic to bypass lesson content in which they have demonstrated proficiency to proceed to content that they have yet to master. Moreover, Salt Adaptive enables learners with multilingual capability to switch in and out of languages within the same learning experience; if, for example, a learner commences Workplace Behaviours in English then realises that they would feel more comfortable proceeding through the same course instance in, for example, Chinese, they can do so by clicking on a button to toggle the language of their choice. Our clients can simply request that we help to translate their course into nominated languages and make these languages available to their learners. Our designers also used Adobe Illustrator and Lectora to create additional animations and other interactions that they then embedded into the Salt Adaptive course.
Our sub-editors and legal experts performed a quality assurance audit of the course to ensure it displayed responsively on desktop, mobile and tablet views; was written as simply, engagingly and directly as possible; and was legally accurate and up to date
Workplace Behaviours rolled out instantly to clients from a wide range of industries and sizes, from a large national media organisation to a major private health insurance fund to Tier 2 banks. It rolled out on time and on budget, before the new laws on Respect@Work came into effect, and in practice helps to foreground in the minds of our learners many of the concepts that have since been enshrined in law.
There was an immediate uptake of the course by 25 clients, who typically rolled out all modules of the new course, including the module on Diversity & Inclusion. The fact that people adopted this module shows that diversity and inclusion are important to our clients: they recognise that diverse recruitment and inclusive work practices do not belong in a vacuum but rather that training on these concepts belong within a broader culture of compliance that also covers traditional conduct training on bullying, discrimination and harassment.
Over 13,000 learners are subscribed to the course, and over 9,000 learners have actively enrolled in it since it launched. We are delighted that another 17 clients have licensed the new course since it launched, and that we have been able to show this course to new clients and prospects when they ask whether we have any training that responds to the current news stories and the latest legislative reforms, since this course does both.
One Tasmanian government business enterprise declared:
The Workplace Behaviour module was very informative and presented in an easy-to-follow format. The course was delivered in clear and easy to understand terms, with up-to-date relevant material from recent news and legal topics. Giving users the option to skip learning material that they are already familiar with by completing the assessments first, also allowed us to target training where it was needed and was appreciated by users. The e-module also allowed us to customise content to deliver the course targeted to both managers and non-management staff which was also very beneficial.
Workplace Behaviours has been customised for schools and we have also published a non-jurisdictional version.