Teachable Moments vs. Ongoing Awareness Reminders
As a follow up to the previous blog regarding the sensitive ethics document from the Committee on Standards that ended up in the hands of The Washington Post, I wanted to take a look at teachable moments vs. ongoing awareness reminders.
If you go to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct web site and look up their training requirements for 2009 you will see an example of once-a-year training requirements and you will see individual training requirements are based on pay scales. This seems ironic to me since the Committee on Standards blamed a low-level staffer for the unauthorized access to the sensitive ethics document.
One thing we know from years and years of data is that people do not do things because they are taught…people do things because they are reminded.
What is the lesson learned here? Once-a-year training is not effective.
What are other lessons learned? To be effective, once-a-year training should be complemented with ongoing reminders about:
- Situational Awareness
- Best Practices
- Technology Usage
- Information Sharing Guidelines
- Information Handling Requirements
- Legal Due Diligence
- And other related issues
What other lessons learned or questions does this Committee on Standards incident reveal?
- Should “low-level staffers” receive different training based on salary?
- Should detailees, fellows, unpaid interns, or any other individuals who are employed by an organization and paid for less than 60 days be exempt from training?
- Should new employees be allowed to work with sensitive information before training has been completed or be given 60 days to attend live or online training?
- If live training is provided, will individuals remember everything that was blasted at them via the “megaphone training approach”?
Interestingly enough, the previous questions are directly related to existing guidelines on the Committee of Standards of Official Conduct web site regarding 2009 Ethics Training.
This incident seems to be a great teachable moment about the importance of lessons learned questions that need to be answered and updates that need to be provided to all appropriate individuals as ongoing awareness reminders.