Modern financial services learning in action

According to researchers in brain science, situated learning—where a learner can access relevant examples—can accelerate learning. In addition: by breaking down that learning into snackable snippets; allowing employees to answer questions at the point of need and immediately apply what they learn to a relevant situation; and by using a medium such as video, learning and development professionals can provide a learning environment that is comfortable and familiar to the new employee mindset.

Use case

A large retail bank is seeking to improve sales performance. The firm is still recovering its brand reputation since the economic downturn. Its customers, a younger demographic, are demanding a more interactive online banking experience. The firm needs to hire and retain top technical talent who can guide them through a digital transformation of their business.

In the newly formed innovation unit, employees are encouraged to take a start-up style approach to working. They must assume a leadership role within the bank to adapt business units—by nature more hierarchical and traditional—through changing systems and processes. To execute on their mission, managers and business analysts within the unit must develop strong coaching and leadership skills.

Rather than take a “one size fits all” approach to leadership training, each team member is provided with a personalized learning plan focused on achieving three core competencies relevant to their role. They are also provided with the tools to curate their own related learning and select supplementary learning paths from an approved library of training. They are encouraged to apply their newly learned skills on the job, and, through their next-gen learning management system, reflect on their progress by capturing in-the-moment video anecdotes on their smartphone. These reflections are then shared with others in the program for comment and discussion.

Team members are also encouraged to use the learning platform to connect with coaches and mentors across the organization. In a large retail bank setting with thousands of employees, coaches can send short pep talks and advice via video to provide that all-important personal connection young, tech-savvy millennial employees crave. Finally, using data captured in the learning platform, the learning and development team is able to monitor the level of engagement of individuals in the leadership program, determine which content elements are most utilized, and track the entire cohort of trainees over a two-year period to determine the program’s long-term impacts.

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Sixty-five percent of FS CEOs say leadership skills are very important to their organization with 29% saying that it’s very difficult to recruit people with those skills. And yet, leadership training often fails to achieve its goals.

Four Reasons Leadership Training Fails

  1. Lack of context and personalization
  2. Failure to connect leadership development to on-the-job projects
  3. Moving beyond functional expertise to connect with a learner’s mindset
  4. Failure to measure and monitor progression over the long-term

Source: McKinsey&Company

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