Financial Services L&D Innovations: Modern Learning and Sales Recruitment

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Firms like Mackenzie Investments are disrupting employee training with more meaningful learning experiences.

There was a clear theme that emerged during the Financial Services Learning & Development Innovations conference, held in Philadelphia on October 18 and 19: financial services learning and development (L&D) pros should look to create innovative employee experiences through modern learning, particularly when it comes to sales recruitment.

The opening keynote at the conference—which is a forum for learning, training, and leadership development executives to discuss key topics of importance in the financial services industry—was delivered by conference chairperson Bernie Goldstein, executive director, head of clients skills training: Americas at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Goldstein urged participants to think about the need for learning in the industry. He reminded everyone that the spend in the corporate learning and education space is growing exponentially every year through company-led initiatives, but also via direct consumer spending.

Millennials are hungry for knowledge and are comfortable spending out of their own pocket to enhance their learning experience. For L&D professionals, this means they need to take ownership of their programs and should consider the investments they are making to bring those modern learning experiences to the forefront. Goldstein’s key takeaway question was “how do we disrupt ourselves before we are disrupted by others?”

Find out why your financial services firm needs to move to modern learning

How Mackenzie Investments leveraged modern learning to disrupt sales recruitment

Denise Teixeira, of Mackenzie Investments (a D2L customer), showcased how she’s created disruption in her own company by leveraging modern learning to upgrade the sales recruitment process and build the pipeline for succession.  As senior manager, product education and blended Solutions at Mackenzie, Teixeira has a clear mandate: delivering meaningful learning experiences that enable sales teams across the organization.

One of the areas within the organization that was experiencing the most attrition was Mackenzie’s Inside Wholesaler program. Participants are mid-career employees with specialized knowledge whose role is to support financial advisors and conduct road shows where they share insights about the latest product and services offered at Mackenzie.

Teixeira’s L&D program is focused on developing junior employees, training them on the knowledge necessary for a seamless transition into an Inside Wholesaler role when it becomes available. She developed the program using a three-pronged approach: self-led online learning, analysis applications, and skills and knowledge presentation.

“Our sales members are on the road so, for us, it’s important they have a tool that offers flexibility,” she said.  “What I really liked about [D2L’s] Brightspace platform is that I am able to do more interesting activities—submit assignments, upload videos and interacts in a way that traditional LMS don’t.”

Teixeira is also a fan of just-in-time, bite-sized learning.  She shared how she often sits in an executive’s office, asking them to share their approach to a particular situation, and is able to upload the video in seconds to the platform for her learners to review.

“It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it’s a great way for people to gather quick sound bites and nuggets of information,” she said.

Teixeira’s also received great feedback for the skills and knowledge presentation portion of the program. Learners have the ability to leverage Social AssessmentTMand video capabilities to gather direct, constructive feedback from their manager and mentor on their presentation style.

“It helps them build confidence before they need to conduct the presentation in front of a live audience,” she explained.

Overall Teixeira’s goal is to help her people become role-ready when the opportunity arises, and she’s excited with the success the Insider Wholesaler program has had thus far.

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