Today we continue our celebration and exploration of the original trilogy of Star Wars movies with a look at Episode VI. Return of the Jedi. In this final movie from the original three, the good guys win in the end after overcoming incredible odds, largely from the effective training of Luke as a Jedi Master. Many fans and critics panned it for including the incredibly cute and furry Ewoks on the moon named Endor as a part of the storyline. Many thought one very tall Wookie was enough cuteness for the series. Yet the Ewoks did provide the setup to one of the movies best lines. The Ewoks thought one of Luke’s robots, C-3PO, was a god. Solo asked him to demonstrate some ‘god-like’ powers to which C- 3PO replied, “It is against my programming to impersonate a deity.”

This movie’s big reveal was that Luke and Princess Leia were twins and that she was now free to unabashedly pursue bad boy Han Solo. While Episode VI was the lowest grossing film of the original three, coming in at only $572MM worldwide, it was still a great ride and visually stunning. George Lucas’ in-house organ, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), certainly earned their title for their special effects in the movie. The Sarlacc battle sequence was great, the speeder bike chase on the Endor moon was way cool and the space battle between Rebel and Imperial pilots was a great ride. At the Academy Awards ceremony for movies of that year, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett, all from ILM, received the Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects Oscar award.

I thought about this entry in the Star Wars oeuvre in the context of compliance training. One of the key changes from the Department of Justice articled in the 2017 Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs was the change in training. The DOJ wants both targeted and effective training. This means you must be able to demonstrate how your training has been received and utilized by your employee base.

I have adapted an approach first articulated by Joel Smith to help determine compliance training effectiveness.

1.What you want to measure. Before you ever train an employee, you should have a goal in mind. What actions do you want employees to take? What risks do you want them to avoid? In compliance, you want them to avoid non-ethical and non-compliant actions that would lead to compliance violations. The goal is to train employees to follow your Code of Conduct and your compliance program policies and procedures so you avoid liability related to actions.

  1. What is employee engagement?The next step is to get a sense of whether employees feel that the training you provided is relevant and targeted to their job. If it’s not targeted, employees will likely not be committed to changing risky behavior. You can get data on employee engagement through a quick post-training survey, which will help you isolate and qualify the training benefit.
  2. Did employees actually learn anything?A critical part of any employee training is the assessment. If you want to understand the “benefit” of training employees, you must know whether they actually learned anything during training. You can collect this data in a number of ways, but for compliance training, the best way is to measure pre-and post-training understanding over time. Basically, each time you train an employee, measure comprehension both before and after training.
  3. Are employees applying your training?You need to conduct a survey to determine employee application and their implementation of the training topics. To do so, you must conduct employee surveys to understand whether they ceased engaging in certain risky behaviors or better yet understand how to conduct themselves in certain risky situations. These surveys can provide a good sense of whether the training has been effective.

At the end of the final episode of the first trilogy, Luke see the specters of Anakin Skywalker, Yoda and Obi Wan Kinobi in front of him. This movie also demonstrates that his training to become a Jedi master is complete. Moving forward he will be a Master to other Jedi.