Retail leads the way for pharma compliance training

Posted on Apr 12, 2017

Learning strategies

Games & gamification

Platforms

Pharmaceutical and retail companies share many compliance challenges, but we’ve seen differences in their approach to them.

While pharma tends to favour traditional training methods, many retailers are thinking outside the box and using innovative learning techniques to engage with their workforce on serious issues.

Shared compliance challenges

  • Global organisations

  • Commercial compliance

  • Diverse range of functions

  • Highly regulated

  • Working with partners

  • Increasing reliance on technology

Global organisations

Working across borders means complying with the regulations of each region. It means different cultures and employees who need to represent the values of your company while operating within their countries’ customs and laws.

Delivering the same learning for different regions and roles is the perfect use for a digital approach. By translating and localising content it becomes possible to create one piece of learning that can be used across an entire organisation, regardless of location.

Mandatory compliance training reaches everyone; it’s one of the ways an organisation can impress its values onto all of its staff. Rolling out a global digital training programme presents a consistent voice to the whole workforce.

Retailers like Specsavers recognise this and have created bespoke courses that incorporate their businesses values while imparting essential information to new starters.

Tesco used a leaderboard as part of their mandatory Learning Leap compliance programme that sought to deal with several of the challenges shared with pharma:

  • Reaching a large global workforce in a tight timescale

  • Motivating employees to engage with the training

  • Helping staff remember what they learn for longer


Tesco Learning Leap

Gamification has been a staple among Learning & Development professionals in recent years, and represents an engaging approach with proven benefits for learners who are bored of dry, repetitive compliance training. Adding a layer of achievements on top of your training means workers are more motivated to complete and perform well.

Highly regulated

Both pharma and the retail industry have to keep up to date with many types of regulations. Pharma is among the most regulated of industries.  Large diversified retailers span several sectors and as such the compliance issues multiply.

Working with a provider who understands the intricacies of your business makes it easy to create effective pharmaceutical and healthcare compliance learning that will resonate with and engage your employees.

Working with partners

With any global industry, strategic partnerships are part of doing business. Bringing compliance training to new partners while ensuring a consistent message is something that many retail companies have a great deal of experience with.

Forbes identifies the trend for pharmaceutical companies partnering with biotech companies in order to take advantage of their specialist technology and knowledge, and co-promotion of pharmaceutical products is becoming increasingly popular as a way to combine resources.

Working with different companies across different brands or products and regions means making sure your compliance training can extend beyond your own organisation when needed.

Diverse range of functions

From the warehouse to the boardroom, compliance affects everyone. Both retail and pharma have a huge range of roles that require training in both specific and generic compliance issues.

Modern learning tools are allowing the early adopters of new technologies to take advantage of learning that identifies crossover between roles and responsibilities in compliance areas. Modern learning platforms are breaking subjects down into microlearning and deliver it to the most relevant people when they need it are being used by retailers.

Commercial compliance

Anti-bribery and corruption are a big part of both retail and pharma compliance training. Retailers have recognised the need for a tailored approach for their staff, something not every sector has taken on board.

The advent of truly personalised digital training means a course on one aspect of commercial compliance can be delivered to different employees in different ways. Pharma has the same need as retail for personalised learning and can take advantage of the customised approach.

Bloomingdale's

10,000 retail staff at Bloomingdale's took part in the training to improve employee knowledge of safety procedures.

Taking the whole of the workforce through essential compliance training doesn’t have to mean taking them away from their roles for long periods. Using a microlearning platform, the content was delivered in short bursts to workers wherever and whenever they opted to receive it.

The result was a cost saving of millions from reduced safety claims and employee absences.

Bloomingdales

Adaptive learning played a big role in the success of the Bloomingdale's programme, with the short lessons being tailored automatically for the learners’ roles and needs. Combining the right micro content with sound neurological principles of spaced repetition, confidence ratings and gamification elements made it easy to deliver a wide range of compliance topics to a diverse and mobile workforce.

The pharmaceutical industry can benefit greatly from the bite-sized, personalised nature of this type of learning.

Increasing reliance on technology

As various processes throughout the pharma industry – from research and development to operations for remote sales teams – become more reliant on technology to support their performance, the risk of overstepping regulations increases.

Both retail and pharma companies are having to deal with new issues and regulations around data security. The smart companies are fighting fire with fire and using the many advantages of a digital learning strategy to meet the challenge of an increasingly online workforce.

What retail innovations can pharma use now?

  • Games and gamification

We’ve seen improvements in completion rates and reported effectiveness of training from the introduction of gamification. Compliance doesn’t have to be a dusty, boring process. Workers want to enjoy what they’re doing, and when they do, they perform better.

  • Immersive learning

We’re working with high-street retailers on learning courses that put the employee in a simulated environment, allowing them to practice their approach to sales and retail roles.

Lowe’s are piloting a virtual reality DIY training tool in stores for staff and customers to use and are already seeing positive results compared to traditional training methods.

  • Mobile focus

With so many workers not having a desktop computer for traditional elearning, retail have had to get ahead of the game with mobile compliance learning. Delivering courses and content at the point of need is essential for the deskless workers of a retail organisation.

Retail are making more inroads into engaging, effective compliance training for their employees. Using modern techniques and innovative approaches they are seeing real business benefits. If you’d like to discuss an innovative learning strategy for your pharma training get in touch.

Ask an expert

Dr Claire Smart, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences Specialist, Sponge UK

Claire has a PhD in vascular physiology/immunology and is a specialist in medical education, scientific communications and strategic planning for the pharmaceutical industry. 

She has 16 years’ experience in leading the development of medical education and training materials, including elearning programmes, clinical data presentations, patient information materials, digital marketing assets and web content.

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