How much training should your employees get?

Without an ROI calculation, it's easy for business executives to overlook the importance of legal training, and instead allocate such a small amount of resources to legal training that it's not worth anyone's time.

On the flip side, you don't want to take too much time away from the business. Salespeople need to sell. Accountants need to count. Human resources people need to human... well, you get it. 

The easy answer to the question of how much training should your employees get is that training should be as long as it needs to be and no longer.

What in the world does that mean?

Let's start by setting the baseline.

Training: the bare minimum

Consider that a full-time employee typically works about 2,000 hours per year for your company. Now think about how much compliance training that employee gets each year:

20 hours? - 1% of the employee's annual workload

10 hours? - 0.5% of the employee's annual workload

5 hours? - 0.25% of the employee's annual workload

1 hour? - 0.05% of the employee's annual workload

Now let's ask ourselves the HARD question.

If a company only devotes 0.05% of its employees' time to compliance training, would the DOJ consider the training program to be effective?

(I'll let you answer that one in your head)

PS: Is it a good use of your time to sit and develop hours of training materials? On average it takes 43 hours (!!!) of work to develop 1 hour of classroom training! That is insane. Stop spending your time to staring at a blank PowerPoint. Contact us today about IHO Custom Services if you're looking for awesome training materials!

Training amount is company-specific

Regardless of how you've answered the above question, the amount of time your company devotes to compliance training will always depend on (1) your industry, (2) your geographic footprint and (3) your company history.

For example, a healthcare system will add on a substantial amount of training based on HIPAA - while a hand-tools manufacturer can likely disregard HIPAA training entirely. 

Additionally, a company that only operates in the US doesn't have to worry too much about FCPA training. In contrast, a multinational with operations in countries high on the corruption index will need to focus a large amount of time on anti-corruption/anti-bribery training. 

Ultimately, the amount of training your company requires employees to complete is almost entirely dependent on the specifics of the company (one last example, if you work for a giant multinational company, anti-trust training will be extremely important).

Although you should consider "best practices" and the "bare minimum" principles above, in-house counsel need to determine how much training employee should receive based on (1) the total amount of material needed to effectively communicate the laws and (2) the complexity of the legal concepts (the more complex, the more often you should train employees).