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How Effective Is Online Employee Ethics Training?

It's all about perspective. As comedian Bill Hicks famously noted, if you watch the Rodney King attack video in reverse, you see police help him up and send him on his way.

The effectiveness of your company's employee ethics training depends entirely on your perspective and how you measure effectiveness. After you know what really matters to the company, you can design your ethics training to fit your specific needs. After all, the cost benefit analysis is going to shake out differently depending on the type, structure, and size of a business.

If your company actually want to avoid employee ethics violations, then online training is not the best option. But if your company simply wants to avoid fines for ethics violations, then online training is effective and convenient. Here's a closer look:

Avoiding Employee Ethics Violations

Unfortunately, online ethics training videos really don't seem to teach anybody anything. As Slate pointed out some time ago, the main purpose for the ethics and other online training videos is to protects the company rather than teach the employee. The data shows that they are essentially worthless in actually preventing the conduct they seek to prevent.

Instead of the videos, in-person trainings, with the whole team present, are the most likely to be effective in actually teaching employees. Unfortunately, these are time consuming, and can cost a lot more, not just to get the appropriate presenters, but also in terms of lost productivity. Let's face it, most people just let online training videos just run while doing their actual work, and that's exactly the way the company wants it. Though some definitely have a difference of opinion on this.

Avoiding Fines for Ethics Violations

If your main goal is avoiding the potential liability to the company for failing to train your workforce on avoiding ethics violations, then the online ethics training courses are the way to go. There's no need to worry about absent or telecommuting employees missing the big training session if all an employee needs is a laptop and an internet connection, and your software will incessantly email them until they complete the course.

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