Compliance Training - Show, Don't Tell

Do you remember "show 'n' tell" in kindergarten?

Didn't kids always prefer showing to just telling?

Which method was more effective?

Thinking about the lessons of "show n' tell" can help us overcome a pressing issue in compliance/legal training: how can in-house counsel effectively communicate legal concepts to employees?

Unfortunately, judging from a lot of the legal training decks I've seen, many attorneys try to teach (or "tell") the law to employees in order to create a culture of compliance. 

Legal Training Presentation Tell

If you teach employees the law, including its history, basic provisions and exceptions, they'll automatically apply it in their jobs, right?


Employees need to be trained differently than lawyers. You can't just summarize the law and expect compliance to just "happen".

Okay, so how should I structure my training?

Instead of telling employees the law, in-house counsel need to "show" employees how to do their jobs in compliance with the law.

What does this mean?

It means legal training needs to be focused on how the employee's job duties are affected by a law.

For example, instead of telling employees that the FCPA says they can't bribe foreign government officials, show employees a detailed summary of the types of gifts and entertainment they can and can't provide to foreign government officials.

Legal Training Presentation - Show

Basically "showing vs. telling" is the difference between "application and theory". Since you're not training lawyers, compliance training needs to focus on how employees can apply legal concepts to their jobs. 

The only downside I can think of to "showing" is that it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare relevant content that employees can immediately apply. It's a whole lot easier for lawyers to simply through together a summary of the law and call it a day. 

But let's be clear - hours of prep-time cannot stand in your way.

As you're well aware, compliance training must be "effective"! How can your training be effective if you haven't taught employees how to apply the law to their jobs?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

PS: We understand. You're crazy busy. How are you going to find time to "show" your employees how to comply with FCPA? Don't worry, we've got you covered with our Custom Training Service. Click the link or the image below for more details!