In organisations of low maturity (see maturity model below), most psychological harm prevention activity tends to centre around an annual mandatory training program that is transactional and compliance-focused.

Bullying, harassment, discrimination are generally the topics.

This means the only measure of success is completion rates and we all know how this plays out in most workplaces.

Managers are told to ensure all of their staff have their annual competencies completed by a certain date and the Manager spends time nagging staff to ‘just get it done’ so their stats are up to date and the pressure from above is taken off.

I’ve been that Manager.

And I’ve completed my training feeling thoroughly bored and purely hitting ‘next next next’ to get the thing completed.

It feels like an impost rather than something that is actually a beneficial thing to do. If I was asked 30 minutes after completing the training what I just read, I’d be lucky to remember anything.


Because in work overloaded workplaces we aren’t approaching this training to learn, we are approaching it transactionally. To just get it done.

We recall what we need to know in the moment to be able to click next, pass a quiz and print out our certificate. Then, it’s largely forgotten.

Mandatory training as an isolated activity does not affect true change.

Forcing training on an entire workforce but ignoring poor behaviours outside of that will result in widespread derision and disengagement.

Much like our own attitude to get the task completed, organisations use these training programs purely to meet a legislative or regulatory compliance requirement, not to rectify cultural issues or truly affect change.

There’s a need to do more.

To move to transformational activities proven to affect sustainable change.

If you’d like to know how you can move your organisation from a trivial or transactional approach to transform your workplace, see the Transforming Norm program or reach out for a chat.

Tan x

Tanya Heaney-Voogt

Director & Principal Consultant
MBA, ICFACC, MAHRI, Dip Mgt, Dip Coaching, Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner

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