How to train personnel if staff number exceeds hundreds of people and branch offices are spread out across the country?
Zlata Lupilina, former director of staff learning and quality assurance department at “Trust” bank. She held this position from May to December 2016. At the end of the year, the bank was found to be insolvent and National Bank of Ukraine started liquidation proceedings.
When I joined “Trust”, the recent project for development of retail lending network had started there and the bank had been massively recruiting new specialists. Our department consisting of three members had received two tasks from the executive team: to set up learning process for new employees and to organize training for current ones. We had to launch a program, which would allow to train staff as proficient as possible with minimal financial and time expenditures.
Credit managers, branch specialists, bank tellers and telemarketing operators were our main audience. About 300 people across Ukraine in total. They had been working in 20 bank branches, 100 instant lending points and 3 call centers. Many of them has just graduated from the university and had absolutely no experience in banking sector. Taking into account staff remoteness, high employee turnover traditional for mass-market retail segment and high amount of ever-changing materials, we made a bid for distance learning via internet.
When I started working at the bank, they have already signed contract with Davintoo Ukraina and part of the materials was placed on Collaborator web portal. However, the portal’s capabilities were not used at the fullest. Previously I had experience in implementing of online learning at companies using Learning Management Systems, but I dealt with Collaborator for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by its feasibility and Davintoo’s technical support level.
Since our employees did not get used to read and learn anything by themselves, first off we persuaded them to adopt such a habit. To reach this goal we decided to “eat elephant one bite at a time”. Initially, we created a forum for the employees, where we had been answering all their questions in online mode. This allowed us attract people to the portal as well as reduce workload upon department. If we were asked about the same thing for several times, it was just enough to give a link to the answer. And with the evolving forum, employees started answering to some questions. Secondly, we updated materials for newcomers in distant academy and started changing of its format. It was very helpful that many modern formats of learning materials (long-read, interactive presentation, workshop, webinar, knowledge base, etc.) could be created very fast using Collaborator’s built-in tools. Therefore, we were able to create fine training content and save time.
Our main audience, which was retail business staff, could be divided into two groups and each of them required special approach. The first one is branch specialists and call center operators whose average age is about 22-27 years. The second group is bank tellers – people over 30 and even 40 years old. In order to engage and interest the first group we have been using portal’s built-in interactive and visualization elements while creating learning content. Meanwhile, the second group preferred long-read course format as being more comfortable and accessible.
Staff commitment was growing by leaps and bounds. Nevertheless, we did not have enough time to reinforce their habit to self-education. I learned from my experience that it requires at least 12 month of methodical work of HR department. But after seven months of our work, potential investors refused to buy the bank and temporary administration was imposed in “Trust”.
Considering new employee flow, learning of bank products was one the main priorities in training. As soon as the bank has been offering new products or promotional actions we have been placing up-to-date materials on the web portal, giving explanations, analyzing the most common errors, creating courses and tests, discussing complexities during meetups (offline trainings).
Thanks to Collaborator capabilities in tracking of each single employee activity, we have been saving lots of time. The system shows how long the employee was using the portal in general and the time he spent reading each learning course or taking each test in particular. In addition, it possible to track which document from the knowledge base he opened or downloaded as well as the number of attempts he used to pass a test. And we knew exactly those employees or executives who required individual approach.
There is a direct correlation between employee’s knowledge level and his or her working efficiency. It can be seen almost right away in case of bank products and services. There were precedents, when a new employee has started working at an instant lending point without taking adaptation program and his working results after two months were poor. However, relation between educational and working success in sales field is not so clear and comes out after time period. Development of such skills demands not only distance training, but meetups as well. Practice shows that 3-4 in-person trainings per year are required for skill consolidation.
Alongside with online education, we launched series of offline trainings for new and experienced employees in September 2016. The less audience is trained, the more percentage of in-person learning is desirable – about 10-15% at an average. If the audience is well motivated, e.g. executives or employees who understand value of an education, they can learn autonomously. In these circumstances, 1-2 meetups a year is just enough.
We planned to use Collaborator portal for performing compulsory bank teller certification according to National Bank of Ukraine requirements. We has started development of the system in which an employee initially passes tests at Collaborator. Then specially arranged commission studies test results, asks additional questions and signs protocol if all is good. It could allow us to save lots of time.
Collaborator has become for our company not only LMS, but also one of the tools for corporate culture creation, i.e. an internal informational portal of the bank. Among education materials, we have been publishing there news about “Trust” and its employees, as well as photo reports about events. In addition, we launched weekly news digest in Collaborator. We tried to create interesting newsletters with exciting headings, images and links to portal’s materials. It induced some regular employees to become so-called experts. They started assisting HR department in preparation of learning courses by presenting own information.
It is very convenient to deal with Collaborator platform. Especially for those who currently could not afford themselves to buy separate means for creation of learning courses, because Collaborator possesses built-in tools, which is sufficient for producing high-quality educational content. What is more, Collaborator development and support teams offer the best service I have ever dealt with. They work for a full due, with interest, quickly and qualitatively – such attitude occurs rarely nowadays.
Collaborator’s advantages on Zlata’s opinion::
— Extensive functionality, which allows using site not only as an educational environment, but also as place where company executives could communicate with employees;
— Platform’s mobility. All learning courses could be accessed via smart phones. All you need is internet, modern web browser, login and password;
— Capability to track single employee’s commitment to education and success rate in details. It is even possible to control such criteria as time spent on reading of any given material;
— Availability of built-in tools for preparation and edition of learning materials. It possible to create test, long-read course or presentation without leaving Collaborator;
— The best technical support from platform’s developers.
Any company may try to implement Collaborator platform for own needs. Developers of this system offer fully functional version for 30-days test drive.