Whether in a public health handwashing campaign or compliance eLearning, clear messaging is critical.

Complex concepts, like the epidemiological studies recognizing the importance of proper hygiene in minimizing the associated risk of disease-inducing microorganisms, can often be stated in simple terms—wash your hands to decrease the spread of germs.

Seem far-fetched? It’s not. Take a look at typical corporate compliance training or communication materials.

“Due to the United State Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, in conjunction with the United States Federal False Claims Act, actual or potential improper promotion related to specific indications of a medical or pharmaceutical product or service, potentially impose organizational and individual sanctions.”

Or, “Do not promote products for claims they are not approved for.” The latter is clear, not vague. It’s easy to read. The reader understands the core message.

This could be followed up with real examples or fictitious scenarios that describe what “promote” may mean in various situations, case studies that show consequences of not following this law, or how to know what a product is approved for.

Simplifying compliance eLearning messaging also has practical applications. Using fewer yet more meaningful words:
• Increases attention
• Decreases confusion
• Creates action

Corporate compliance teams often struggle with this due to lawyers and many reviewers, who often see training as a “check the box” or “cover our bases” exercise. Used to seeing everything written in text, compliance teams often err on the side of quantity over quality when it comes to compliance training or communication.

Especially in a global organization where multiple languages are used, visual representation of information, through infographics, charts, or video, becomes immediately more powerful. Clear compliance messages often involve narrowing the scope of information covered in each statement or document. It involves a finite focus on what you want the learner to do or say. At the end of the day, what the employee does or says is what compliant businesses are founded on.