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Training Employees for GDPR: Tips for Successful Implementation


The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is slated to be enforced on May 25, 2018. With just over three months left before the legislation goes into effect, organizations should be putting the final touches on any changes in company data security guidelines to ensure compliance.

In addition to updating company databases and technologies, organizations will need to account for another crucial element in data security -- the people working with the data directly.

Training employees for the GDPR now will ease your organization’s transition into the new requirements, thereby increasing consumer trust and minimizing the risk of incurring fines for noncompliance.
Here are some tips for training employees on the upcoming legislation.


Assess Strengths And Weaknesses


Now is the time to re-evaluate your organization’s data protocols to determine what is working well, what can be improved, and what needs to be changed in order to comply with the GDPR.

Are your consumers only sharing personal data if they opt-in? What are the current methods for storing and transferring data? Does your company have a data breach plan in place? Do employees understand how these elements might change after May 2018?

Asking these specific questions will help you focus the training on areas that need it the most.



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Make Training Interactive


“Training” can call to mind the image of a teacher lecturing in front of a classroom for several hours -- an image more likely to instill boredom than excitement. Studies show that students tend to learn more when they are actively participating in a learning activity, rather than passively listening to a speaker.

Engage employees by incorporating activities and encouraging participation and questions in order to get the most out of your sessions.


Divide And Conquer


Divide the training into a few different sessions so employees will retain more information, rather than presenting all of the information at once and overwhelming them.

It might be a good idea to host training in a conference style, breaking sessions down topic-by-topic and selecting subject matter experts to present on specific components of compliance.


Encourage Employees To Have A Say


While the higher-ups in your organization may be able to provide overall guidance and direction, the employees “on the ground” will also know what skills or knowledge they lack and what new protocols they will need to learn to be compliant. Consider sending an anonymous survey prior to launching the training, asking employees if there are any specific topics they want to cover and what elements of data security they are involved in the most.


Create A Manual For Reference


The many requirements of the GDPR can be a lot to remember. Give employees a hand by providing a user’s manual that summarizes the most salient points in the training and enables them to reference it later if they have any questions. Think of it as a CliffsNotes for GDPR compliance.


Training Should Be Ongoing


New technologies are always developing, legislation is always changing, and employees are always coming and going. Offer additional training sessions at set intervals, such as once per quarter or twice per year, to keep current employees up to date with the latest information and familiarize new employees with the necessary protocols.

With fewer than one hundred days until GDPR takes effect, give your organization peace of mind by gradually preparing employees for this major change.



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