How to forge an effective GDPR training program
We are only a few weeks away from the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force. But, if you’re still unsure about the best training strategy to ensure all employees are ready, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The recent Facebook events are a wake-up call for those who believe that data protection is not important and that implementing measures to comply with regulations can wait.
The GDPR reinforces existing laws and provides additional security measures for individuals, so organizations must be as careful as possible. Not only are you safeguarding your data, but you are also safeguarding your reputation and people’s trust in you.
The GDPR requires ‘data protection by design and by default’. Therefore, it is not only about processes, but also about providing training and awareness to employees. With something so important, training cannot simply be a course to fulfill the dossier. Employees will need ongoing training.
Smart companies are taking a holistic approach to GDPR training, implementing a multidisciplinary training program to engage all employees from the start and create a long-term culture of compliance.
Structure of a GDPR training program
An effective training program has three phases:
Physical symbols in the work environment, such as posters and brochures, are excellent for showing in a positive way that change is coming. Most importantly, it is the opportunity to inform employees that they will have the support they need to face change successfully and confidently.
The start-up phase is where the major training effort kicks in. It is a good idea to start this phase with a launch event because it generates interest and enthusiasm. The launch should be followed by a variety of activities to keep people motivated as they learn.
This phase is particularly important for ongoing courses, such as the GDPR. You don’t want the training to be diluted, with the possible risks involved in the event of an error. Promote reinforcement sessions or courses, so that employees know that this is part of the same training program.
Activities that work well in three phases
Initiate the training program in a way that generates buy-in from employees, so banners and social media are good tools to have a high impact during the preparation stage. At the same time, by training team leaders you will provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to be able to support their teams in all phases of training.
One of the advantages of a training campaign is that, during the activation phase, you can include a series of activities that keep learning fresh. You could include daily learning hubs, microlearning, internships, coaching and gamification.
A game is a particularly powerful tool for the activation phase of a training campaign, as it offers an easy way to engage people on a complicated topic, such as GDPR. Through play, people learn and practice what they need to know. We are currently offering a GDPR kit created by Sponge UK, which is ideal for all low-risk employees. The game proposes everyday situations, allowing employees to apply their knowledge and make decisions that reflect real-life challenges.
The maintenance phase will help lay the groundwork for the entire campaign, with activities such as continuous reinforcement and training. Content reinforcements, every four to six weeks, will also help instill learning. It also helps to keep the activity going by appointing GDPR experts, who can answer questions and motivate their colleagues.
Finally, measuring success and proving impact must be a fundamental part of the campaign. Choose the tools that enable your organization to measure people’s growing knowledge of GDPR, their behaviors at work and how this affects data protection and compliance in the business.
When the GDPR comes into force on May 25, it will affect all organizations and all employees to a greater or lesser degree. Implementing a carefully thought-out training campaign with a variety of activities over time is the most effective way to ensure that everyone understands what they need to know.
Original text: Sponge UK
Translation and adaptation: Actua Solutions