CYPHER Learning: Revolutionizing Compliance Training

Risk is part of business. But it must be mitigated.

Compliance training is critical to risk mitigation. But — as Brandon Hall Group™ research has shown for years — compliance training is often woefully ineffective.

While many organizations are becoming quite innovative in designing personalized and immersive learning solutions for other types of training — from leadership to reskilling, onboarding and more — compliance training has been given the cold shoulder. Too often it’s treated as a check-the-box activity despite its importance in meeting regulatory, legal and operational requirements.

CYPHER Learning, a Brandon Hall Group™ Smartchoice® Preferred Provider, conducted research that showed:

  • 56% of respondents admit that educating employees on policies and procedures is often a low priority.
  • 62% complain that compliance training is “one of the most boring things” they must do.
  • 65% of organizations treat compliance training as a “one-and-done information dump” during the onboarding process, never to be revisited.

CYPHER Learning’s workplace compliance study found that businesses face an average annual cost of $1.6 million per year due to non-compliance — rising to over $2 million in the UK. These breaches often occur because employees either don’t understand the rules (38%) or are completely unaware of them (35%).

Brandon Hall Group™ research shows that 82% of companies are focused on learner engagement and completion rates for compliance training while less than half think customization, personalization and cohesive branding of compliance training materials is important.

Revolutionary Compliance Training Content

At this point, the compliance problem is big enough and expensive enough that incremental progress is not an option. We need revolution! Enter CYPHER Learning with its AI 360 with CYPHER Copilot. This solution empowers organizations to create highly effective compliance courses in just 10 minutes. That is not a typo. The power of AI generates 80% of the content!

Brandon Hall Group™ found that most organization are just getting their feet when with AI. More than half (55%) of nearly 1,000 people surveyed told us they have only a marginal or basic understanding of AI, although 96% said it would have a moderate or high impact on learning over the next two years.

So there is a disconnect that requires help from an expert like CYPHER Learning. By dramatically reducing the time and effort required to develop compliance training materials, the company enables employers to deliver timely, relevant and engaging content that resonates with employees.

One of the key features of the AI 360 with CYPHER Copilot offering is its ability to personalize learning experiences. By tailoring content to individual competencies and job roles, the platform ensures that each employee receives training that is directly applicable to their day-to-day responsibilities. This targeted approach not only enhances the relevance of the training but also improves information retention and long-term compliance.

CYPHER Learning’s platform also incorporates interactive elements, such as gamification and engaging multimedia content, to make compliance training more enjoyable and memorable and on a level playing field with other types of development. By transforming dry, boring policies into compelling stories and immersive experiences, organizations can capture employees’ attention and drive home the importance of compliance in a way that traditional training methods simply cannot match.

The Perils of Violating Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures are essential tools for organizations to establish clear guidelines and expectations for employee behavior. They serve as the foundation for a strong organizational culture, aligning everyone around shared values and a common understanding of what is acceptable within the company. Well-crafted policies and procedures promote consistency, order and a safe, secure and efficient work environment.

However, simply having policies in place is not enough to protect an organization from risk. Compliance with these policies is equally crucial.

71% of CYPHER Learning survey respondents said employees are likely breaking rules, but often don’t know until something goes wrong.

As CYHPER points out in its study, recent high-profile cases involving major financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley underscore this point. These firms collectively paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for employees’ use of personal devices to send work-related communications, violating industry regulations. The staggering $2 billion in fines paid out by other firms last year for similar breaches further highlights the severe consequences of non-compliance.

In these instances, the root cause was a failure to effectively integrate policies into the organizational culture. Without employee compliance, even the most well-written policies are rendered ineffective, leaving the organization vulnerable to significant risks. Therefore, organizations must prioritize not only the development of comprehensive policies and procedures but also the implementation of strategies to ensure employee awareness, understanding and adherence to these guidelines. Investing in effective communication, training and monitoring mechanisms is essential to foster a culture of compliance and mitigate the risks associated with non-compliance.

“Too often policies and procedures are treated as a tick-box exercise. It’s easy to lose sight of their purpose — to drive and influence behavior. The only way to do that is by engaging people — they need to understand the purpose and the benefit. What’s in it for them?

— Graham Glass
CEO and Founder, CYPHER Learning

At Brandon Hall Group™, we’ve been asking our clients that question for years: “What’s in it for the learner?” Some learning leaders have responded with sarcasm, like, “So it’s all about them? What about the organization?” Actually, the learning must have mutual benefit — for the employee and employer. However, engagement and retention will not occur unless learners believe they will gain value from the training. That hill is easier to climb when the learning is related to skill development or career growth and more difficult when it is about the comparably mundane world of policies and procedures, rules and regulations. Challenging, but not impossible.

“It’s time we get creative and think of new ways to reach people by telling stories that are timely, relevant and interesting,” Glass said.

CYPHER has offered creative solutions for learning for years and is now adding AI to the equation at the perfect time. Learn more here.


Key compliance training recommendations from the CYPHER Learning Study:

  • Make training relevant and personalized.
  • Tell a story — it is the one thing all cultures across all countries have in common.
  • Bring the story to life with multimedia content and interactive elements.
  • Test, track and measure. Make sure learners fully understand — and can apply — the learning to real situations.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repetition helps people transfer new information from short-term to long-term memory.

About CYPHER Learning

Graham Glass, the founder and CEO of CYPHER Learning, started the company after realizing the limitations of traditional on-premise learning management systems (LMS) while he was a professor at the University of Texas, Dallas. Frustrated with the slow implementation of courses and the lack of engagement in outdated systems, he established CYPHER Learning in 2009 to create a scalable and innovative learning platform.

The company introduced solutions for academia and business in subsequent years, aiming to be human-centric and focused on unleashing potential. Graham’s passion for education and innovation is at the core of the company’s identity, driving them to continuously seek better solutions.

CYPHER has emerged as a leader in AI in education and training, gaining recognition from industry experts. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, with a global presence, CYPHER Learning remains committed to improving learning experiences by asking, “How can we make learning experiences even better?”

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Claude Werder



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Claude Werder

Claude J. Werder Senior Vice President and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group Claude Werder runs Brandon Hall Group’s Talent Management, Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices. His specific areas of focus include how organizations must transform culturally and strategically to meet the needs of the emerging workforce and workplace. Claude develops insights and solutions on employee experience, leadership, coaching, talent development, assessments, culture, DE&I, and other topics to help members and clients make talent development a competitive business advantage now and in the evolving future of work. Before joining Brandon Hall Group in 2012, Claude was an HR consultant and also spent more than 25 years as an executive and people leader for media and news organizations. This included a decade as the producer of the HR Technology Conference and Expo. He helped transform it from a small event to the world’s largest HR technology conference. Claude is a judge for the global Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards and Excellence in Technology Awards, contributes to the company’s HCM certification programs, and produces the firm’s annual HCM Excellence Conference. He is also a certified executive and leadership coach. He lives in Boynton Beach, FL.

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