Comedy & Compliance: Global Engagement Strategies

May 3, 2024

In this episode of Creativity & Compliance, Tom & Ronnie discuss using humor, music and other entertaining approaches as a strategy for engaging a global, multicultural, multigenerational, diverse workforce.
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Tom Fox

Ronnie Feldmen


60-Second Communication & Awareness Shorts
A variety of short, customizable, quick-hitter “commercials” including songs & jingles, video shorts, newsletter graphics & Gifs, and more. Promote integrity, compliance, the Code, the helpline and the E&C team as helpful advisors and coaches.

Workplace Tonight Show! Micro-learning
A library of 1-10-minute trainings and communications wrapped in the style of a late-night variety show, that explains corporate risk topics and why employees should care.

Custom Live & Digital Programing
We’ll develop programming that fits your culture and balances the seriousness of the subject matter with a more engaging delivery.

Tales from the Hotline
Fast, fun case studies about workplace behavior gone wrong, brought to life by comedians and storytellers.

About This Episode

Comedy & Compliance
Engaging a Global Workforce

In this episode of Creativity & Compliance, Tom & Ronnie discuss using humor, music and other entertaining approaches as a strategy for engaging a global, multicultural, multigenerational, diverse workforce.

Ethics and Compliance programs have a tendency to avoid some of the more innovative, creative training and communication techniques because, as they say, “we’re global and comedy doesn’t work globally.” To that I say, bollocks! The sentiment behind this misconception may have some foundation in that there are different cultural sensibilities around the world. Going further, there are a variety of different sensibilities within regions, based on age, education, religion and a variety of other factors. But this misses the point. Using the global nature of your workforce as an excuse not to try innovative, creative things for fear of it not engaging everyone just leads us to continuously circulating mind-numbingly boring, preachy training and communications that is sure to engage no one. Translating that boring programing into multiple languages just ensures that you are boring them in their own language.

Translating that boring programing into multiple languages just ensures that you are boring them in their own language.

  • Variety is the Spice of Life: There is no single way to engage a global, multicultural, multigenerational, diverse workforce. Everyone likes different things. People learn in different ways. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The most effective way to engage the most people is to try lots and lots of little things. Be MORE creative! It’s more efficient and effective. Not every strategy will work for everybody. But over time, you’ll engage more people. It mitigates the risk of any one initiative. Engage your audience through variety and surprise.


  • Entertain To Engage: There are cultural differences, but we all know that people like to be entertained and people like to learn new things. There are a variety of creative techniques that help us engage a global workforce.
    • Music: Utilizing songs, music, jingles tend to work well globally. Why? Because it’s not about wordplay, which may not translate. Setting the actual policy to music is direct but also oddly entertaining. Singing the policy is super weird in and of itself without having to try and make jokes. Songs and music tends to create an emotional connection and can get stuck in your head like an earworm. Try different musical styles. It’s one of the most effective ways to engage a global workforce.
    •  Animation: We find that animation tends to work well globally. It makes it easier to show a variety of settings, a variety of ethnicities. You can still show real scenarios and situations but you can jump space and time to cover more ground quickly. There are a variety of animation styles. And you still need good writing and voice over talent to make it good. But as lesson, animation is a good technique for engaging globally.
    • Parody: While there are cultural differences in entertainment around the world, there are a few things that are common. Talk shows, game shows, commercials, music videos. These are techniques that are somewhat ubiquitous. Wrapping your ABAC, COI, Privacy and other corporate risk programming in one of these styles will feel familiar to a majority of your audience.
    • Specificity: One thing that everyone has in common at your company is YOUR COMPANY. Referencing acronyms, inside jokes, departments and stories that are specific to your company are a great way to engage people.
    • Involving Your People: A great way to engage your global workforce is to involve them. Interview shows, zoom-style, with different leaders around the globe is a great way to engage the workforce while representing different parts of the business. Person-on-the-street style interviews with employees also works well to showcase how employees feel. Selfie-video campaigns and contests are another way to involve people around the world. Set up a contest – “tell us what integrity means to you” or “create a 60-second song about conflicts of interest.”
  •  Local vs. Dubbing vs. Subtitling: The best situation is to produce things locally. But since time and cost is a factor, the next best thing is to dubb the video with localized voices. The next best after that is subtitling. Some of the new AI tools are helpful with this.

Halo Effect: Let’s remember that blending entertainment with learning is a more effective solution. We don’t do it just to do it…although it does make our jobs as ethics & compliance professionals more interesting. We do it because:

  • It helps us stand out and get noticed
  • It helps us get airtime and exposure on more training and comms channels
  • It helps us improve engagement and stickiness of learning
  • It helps us engage and involve others to carry the message forward
  • It helps create a Halo Effect, i.e. makes the E&C team and its resources more welcoming and approachable.
While not all humor translates globally, one thing for certain is that BORING does!
Being creative and entertaining doesn’t mean that every attempt will work. But as long as the messaging is clear and you’ve done your homework to scrub out any of the things that are truly offensive, there is no downside. They will think better of you which builds trust. You will engage more people. Even if it’s 10% more people that’s still more people! Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Be creative. Try new things. You will be more effective and your employees will appreciate it.

Ronnie Feldman is the President & Creative Director at Learnings & Entertainments, a learning content provider made up of comedians and entertainers with a focus on corporate risk.

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