At Ethena, we’re head over heels for a good ‘ol compliance training course … and we definitely know when they’re good ones.

You want your company’s compliance training plan to really hit the mark. However, not every month is the best time to capture your team’s attention. We think you can guess why end of quarters, all-hands-on-deck periods, and that last week in August (when everyone except Alexandra is OOO to go to their sister’s best friend’s cabin) probably won’t hit the compliance bullseye.

So when exactly are the best times to schedule your annual corporate compliance training? As compliance experts, we’ve got some serious opinions (and some serious facts) based on conversations with hundreds of customers about the best and worst months to deploy your company’s required courses.

Ethena’s Compliance Training Expertise

At Ethena, we are passionate about compliance training that your employees will love. We create courses that go way beyond your standard boring, check-the-box training. We know that when compliance training is easy and (dare we say) fun, it can go a lot further towards protecting your coworkers, company culture, and, ultimately, your bottom line. 

Across the calendar, there are months that we believe are objectively better for conducting compliance training. Let’s take a look at the best and worst months for getting compliance training done.

Here’s how they rank

From best to worst:

1. January

Are you one of those people who love that New year, new me energy? We certainly are! That’s why January is hands down the best time of year to get your company off to a compliant start. In January, people are still feeling that post-holiday freshness and are ready to look at the year ahead through a compliance-friendly lens.

2. April

April showers bring a cozy and reflective mood that’s perfect for compliance training. For many companies, it’s the beginning of the second quarter and people are well into the swing of the year. They’re in a productive mood after crossing off those beginning of the year to-dos and are ready to jump into Q2. Take advantage of the team’s drive and positivity by getting a few courses on their calendar.

3. July

Depending on the industry, companies might slow down a bit during summer months. Employees might not be feeling quite so overloaded and will have a little extra bandwidth for training. After everyone gets back from their 4th of July weekend, they are bound to stick around the office for the rest of the month. Use these chill summer vibes to get your training completed smoothly.

4. October

Past the start of the school year but before the wild holiday months, October is a good time for setting compliance expectations. And also for bribing your coworkers with Halloween candy bars.

5. February

In February, people are still jazzed up from that New Year’s resolution-high, but are also back in their corporate groove. The second month of the year is still a good time to set expectations for the year ahead. However, remember to be conscious of that funky President’s Day weekend – many families travel over the holiday and the following week.

6. May

It’s mid-quarter and school is still in session, so parents and non-parents alike are hoping to finish up work before they head out on their big summer holiday. Use this productive office mindset to get the annual compliance training on a roll.

7. August

It’s the last big hoorah of the summer and you’ll definitely be juggling time-off requests the entire month. August’s mid-quarter placement helps its ranking since many offices don’t see a whole lot on their calendars this month. But, the amount of work you’ll have from checking who is out or in … and then out again, doesn’t give August much of a boost.

8. November

Okay hear us out: Yes, November is when the holiday rush hits our bloodstream. BUT it’s also the time when end-of-year celebrations are popping up on our not-too-far-out schedules. Is this a challenging time of year for your team? Send out some trainings in November before the end-of-year celebrations so company policies are top-of-mind.

9. September

September may signal the end of summer, but it’s often the last month of the quarter. Many teams – especially Sales – are super busy trying to finish out their quarterly goals. The last thing on their mind is training, and your Sales leader might give you some side-eye for scheduling it.

10. June

School’s out. Summer’s here. And so is the end of the quarter. Your coworkers are hearing the siren songs of those sweet, sweet summer rays that want to woo them outside. It’s probably best to not compete with their summer dreamin’ this month.

11. March

If your company follows calendar quarters, the end of Q1 can be a stressful time as businesses want to set the pace for the rest of the year. Part of being an effective HRBP is understanding your stakeholders and trying to accommodate their needs when it’s reasonably possible. We suggest staying far away from their calendars this month.

12. December

Congratulations! You have found the absolute worst time to launch any office-wide compliance training. Holiday jolliness, party hangovers, and travel … you know what we’re getting at here. Don’t add to the end-of-year chaos with any extra training in December.

Creating a compliance training plan that works

Whether your team prefers to do all of its annual training at once, or likes to spread it out throughout the year, there are definitely right and less right times to plan in compliance training that will stick. At Ethena, we know the pros and cons of every kind of compliance training rollout. We’re here to help as you put together your compliance training plan template this year.

Of course, it’s always important to be mindful of any other initiatives your company has going on. If you’re hosting open enrollment in October, that’s probably not the best month to also assign training. If you know your Engineering team is hosting an offsite in April, it would be nice if you could avoid that month to make things easier for them. In general: Talk to your leadership teams to understand when their busiest months are. Be mindful of any key projects and deadlines they have in place, and try to work around them.

How Ethena can help

At Ethena, we’re passionate about delivering the right training at the right time. Spring, summer, fall, or even (gasp) winter, we know that the most effective training is useful training, and useful training gets done.

Speaking of useful training, Ethena’s training integrates easily with almost all leading HRIS platforms. That way, you can send notifications and training reminders automatically through email and Slack, no matter who is currently OOO. Ready to give us a try? Talk to our team today.