Collector - July 2018 - 10
Compliance training gets an upgrade thanks to new tech tools.
By Anne Rosso May
orporate gamification tools are
designed to solve a very basic
problem: How can you take
something that's typically pretty boring and
repetitive, like compliance training, and
make it engaging and fun?
Games are not a new concept in the
accounts receivable management industry-
agencies have been using contests to motivate
collectors for decades. But today's technology
trades on our fascination with online games
like HQ Trivia and Words with Friends to
make quizzes about the mini-Miranda and
bankruptcy co-signers more exciting.
Carma Farrar, managing member at
Advantage Financial Services LLC, said that
two years ago, she was struggling with her
company's compliance training program.
"It just takes so much time to get everyone
in to do it," she said. "I wanted something they
could do quickly and that would be fun."
She landed on Intelitech's StackUp product,
which sends her employees daily compliance
questions. Each round takes just a few
minutes to complete; employees earn points
for correct answers, competing not only
with each other but also with collectors from
companies across the country. Those who
excel can also earn rewards-like prepaid
debit cards or Amazon gift cards-which
Intelitech gives directly to winners.
Intelitech and its dozen or so competitors
in the accounts receivable management
gamification space are banking on the premise
that agencies are looking for new ways to
connect with and educate employees. If that's
you, here's a quick look at how gamification
might be able to work in your company.
CUSTOMIZE TRAINING &
Corporate learning games are usually
used as a complement to existing training
programs-not as a substitute. They cover
basic industry compliance areas like the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair
Credit Reporting Act and Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act.
Companies can often add their own questions
to the rotation as well.
For instance, Christian Lehr, chief operating
officer for Healthcare Collections LLC, said
the gamification product his company uses,
Eterna from Learn.net, allows him to add
questions about the company's Professional
Practice Management System documentation
requirements. And Debra Ciskey, IFCCE,
compliance officer for Wakefield & Associates
Inc., rewrote some of the questions in hers to fit
her behavior-based expectations for staff.
"I don't care that collectors remember a
specific section of the law, but I do care that
they know what the law says they should do,"
Look for products that give employees
background information to explain why an
answer is incorrect-which can advance the
learning process-and be prepared for them to
challenge a question when they get it wrong.
"There's seemingly nothing more exciting
to an employee than for them to point out
something incorrect on the test, whether it's
grammar, the interpretation of an answer or
maybe we changed a work instruction and
forgot to update the test," Lehr said. "I don't
mind being corrected. In fact, I think it's
encouraging because it means they are taking
to the idea of constant learning and paying
attention to what's required."
To provide effective compliance training,
you need to understand the peaks and valleys
of your employees' compliance knowledge, and
this is where gamification tools really shine.
The daily quizzes provide valuable data on
employees' weaknesses, alerting you to issues
before they get out of hand.
"When I get my monthly report from
StackUp, I'll look to see where we need
more training," Farrar said. "For instance, I
could tell from the reports that our office is
really strong industry-wise in FCRA, but in
GLBA we were a little below the standard.
That's because we don't do a lot of banking
accounts; we do mostly medical. But it gave
me the insight to initiate more training on
GLBA. And instead of speaking to collectors
for an hour on it, I can go in and look at what
questions they've missed in the daily quizzes
and we'll talk about those specific concepts."
MOTIVATE & REWARD
While education is the driving force behind
gamification tools, they can also help create
a lighter mood on the collection floor. For
instance, some products give participants
virtual stickers or certificates when they reach
a certain level, celebrating their achievements.
But even the more utilitarian tools encourage
conversation and camaraderie.
"I'll hear a lot of banter in the office about
the questions," Farrar said. "[Employees]
kind of support and help each other. I'll