Want To Know If Your Compliance Training Is Working? – Ask Your Employees

The Grace Hill training tip this week focuses on the third in the series on compliance training. Compliance training is important for landlords and property managers to keep up with ever-changing rental housing laws at federal, state and local levels.

By Ellen Clark

Bottom line: You want to know if your training program is working. Employee feedback is one of the best ways to know what is and is not working for them.

This is the fourth post in a series about how to measure the effectiveness of your compliance training program. If you missed the previous posts they are listed at the bottom.

Building a good compliance training evaluation plan is all about accumulating evidence to help you answer the question:

Is the compliance training working?

You could just measure impact on the ultimate performance metric:

    • Have you gone a year without a fair housing claim?
    • Have internal harassment complaints decreased?

 But, if you don’t see an impact, you will want information about what went wrong so you can fix it.

 In a past post, we covered measuring implementation. You don’t want to conclude that training didn’t work when, in fact, the issue was that people didn’t complete the training, or didn’t complete it with fidelity. We also covered measuring learning. If employees can’t demonstrate they grasp what’s been taught, it is very unlikely they will be able to apply the training content on the job.

It is also important to gather information on employees’ reactions to the training.  Did employees find the training valuable and feel they benefited from it? This kind of learner buy-in is particularly important in compliance training. Here are some tips for measuring this aspect of your compliance training.

Go beyond “did you like it” questions. Understanding whether employees liked the training is important, and is something most training administrators already think to ask. Here are a couple questions that are often overlooked, but you may want to consider asking learners.

Do employees understand the legal ramifications of the issues the training covers

How valuable did you find the training?

This gets to the heart of why many employees do not complete training or apply themselves during training. When learners understand the value of training, they are more likely to start, complete, and invest time and mental effort – all the things we want them to do. If you find learners aren’t seeing the value, address this by explicitly talking about the value of the learning opportunity in training.

 How confident are you that you can implement the strategies you learned in training?

Even if learners understand what they are supposed to do after training, there may be some practical barriers to doing those things, such as lack of time, resources or supporting processes.

Follow-up questions about what the barriers to implementation are will help you understand how you can better support people in applying strategies learned in training on the job.

Capture feedback through a variety of ways, and offer options to give both a quick review and more detailed feedback.

Gather feedback in multiple ways. Online surveys are great tools for gathering feedback on training. However, think about complementing surveys with informal chats or one-on-one feedback sessions.  Sometimes discussing the training over a a cup of coffee will get you the best insights. The key thing here is to have a plan. Map out your conversations to get a good sampling of people in a variety of roles and locations, and ask a standard set of questions so you get a critical mass of information in key areas.

Gathering information on multiple aspects of training will help you tease out weak spots and target your improvement efforts.  Understanding the extent to which learners see the value in training and whether there are practical barriers to using the strategies on the job will give you important insights into things you can address to improve the overall effectiveness of your compliance training.

If you missed the previous Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here they are:

Part 1 –  Is Your Property Management Compliance Training Working?

Part 2 – Why Completing All Compliance Training Is Critical To Your Protection

Part 3 – Ask Key Questions To Be Sure Your Employees Have Mastered Compliance

Read Ellen’s full blog post here.

About the author:

Ellen Clark is the Director of Assessment at Grace Hill.  Her work has spanned the entire learner lifecycle, from elementary school through professional education. She spent over 10 years working with K12 Inc.’s network of online charter schools – measuring learning, developing learning improvement plans using evidence-based strategies, and conducting learning studies. Later, at Kaplan Inc., she worked in the vocational education and job training divisions, improving online, blended and face-to-face training programs, and working directly with business leadership and trainers to improve learner outcomes and job performance. Ellen lives and works in Maryland, where she was born and raised.


compliance training for rental housing


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