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Treat or task? Recipe for effective training amid the pandemic

J. Veronica Xu ( is the Chief Compliance Officer for Saber Healthcare Group headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

“My husband and I couldn’t stand our long gray hair anymore, so we had to take actions. Fearing the coronavirus, we decided to do it ourselves. We first watched the YouTube videos. Then, we put the chair in front of the TV to simulate the beauty salon environment in a hope to make it more relaxing for both of us. I used to enjoy going to the hair salon to get my hair done, because it was a treat for me. But now, it is simply an annoying task. It took us three hours to shorten and dye each other’s hair yesterday. Today, his neck aches and my right arm is sore. It was not the most pleasant experience, but I have to say it was quite a unique bonding practice,” one of my friends shared her story with me during a recent virtual get-together. I am sure this can resonate with many who have been forced to be homebound due to the coronavirus. After laughing with her about them being self-taught barbers, it prompted me to ponder: How can we turn obstacles into opportunities and make the task of employee training a bonding experience for employees? What’s the right recipe for effective training amid a pandemic?

As one of the basic elements of a compliance program, training and education plays a crucial role in ensuring your organization adheres to all laws and regulations. Training, which covers a broad spectrum of topics and rules, from how to clock in/out and donning/doffing to how to recognize and report fraud, enables employees to conduct business in a safe and efficient fashion. It helps raise employees’ awareness and understanding of regulatory requirements and promote the culture of compliance. Understanding the importance of training and education is just the first step. How to conduct effective training in such a unique time is another question. With all the competing priorities and never-ending projects, it is not uncommon to see people rush through training or skip it altogether. Even in pre-pandemic days, employees often perceived training and education as a cumbersome task that unnecessarily increased their workload and wasted their time. How do you engage employees while promoting and maintaining the level of compliance with regard to training requirements? This article aims to provide some practical tips to help you and your compliance teams assess, communicate, and deliver employee training.

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