A previous blog post discussed ways to effectively educate your bank employees and gave examples of multiple things to consider when providing that employee education. In this post, I’ll show you the benefits of having training content available for your employees and tracking their progress. Specifically, this blog will discuss
- reasons to have a training program,
- various methods to provide training, and
- why you should track employee training progress.
Let’s get started.
Reasons to Have a Training Program at Your Institution
Here are three questions for you to consider:
- Is there an area of your institution that experiences employee turnover more frequently than other areas?
- Do you ever hire new employees who don’t have experience working in a financial institution?
- Do you expect your employees to perform their job duties to the best of their knowledge and abilities?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you need to have a training program of some sort at your institution. Why? Well, chances are good that if you answered yes to the second or third questions and you don’t currently have a training program, you will at some time in the future be answering yes to the first question too (if you aren’t already).
Training is needed to help new employees learn the job they were hired to do. This is crucial for new employees who don’t have experience working in a financial institution like a bank. You may hire someone to work as a teller who has experience working as a cashier in a retail setting, but handling a cash register—taking deposits, giving cash out, balancing a cash drawer—may not be all you require of your tellers. Providing training to help them perform their daily duties ensures that they’ll be proficient in their work and that you’ll benefit from having them as employees. You’ll be investing in the institution by making sure that new employees are able to do their jobs without someone constantly having to tell them what to do. Yes, it may take a few days, weeks, or months, depending on the position, but it’s well worth the investment of time to complete the training.
Once employees have been working for a while, you may want to consider them for different positions at your institution. If those new positions include duties for which they haven’t been trained, having a training program they can turn to for instruction on their new job duties will be helpful.
Occasionally, the software you use in your daily operations will change, requiring training in order to use it correctly. Such training may be provided by the software vendor rather than your institution. However, if you have a program established that includes training from the software vendor, you’re providing the opportunities employees need to perform their job duties to the best of their abilities. They need to know how the software is going to work and how they should expect it to respond based on entries they make in the different fields. If your software vendor doesn’t provide this training, it’s imperative that your institution have a program to create the training that will teach new features and functionality.
If these aren’t enough reasons for your institution to have an internal training program, let’s address the first question as possibly the most important reason why you should. Studies have shown that employees who aren’t given proper training for their positions won’t feel valued and are likely to look for employment with another institution. Instruction can’t end with the initial training they get when they’re first hired for a variety of reasons: new skills and responsibilities, changes in industry standards and compliance rules, and showing the employee that your company values them.
How does training show employees you value them? Employees feel valued when an institution helps them learn new skills that will help them further their career; in turn, they’re more likely to stay with the institution longer. This is especially important now, when technological and economic changes create a feeling of uncertainty with their positions. When new technologies and changes to current technologies are developed, employees might wonder what their future will look like if they aren’t able to adapt. That uncertainty could lead to them looking for a job in a company that will offer them training to make them feel more stable.
Ways to Provide Training at Your Institution
Multiple methods can be used to provide training at your institution, but in this article, I’ll focus on the five most popular ways, according to eLearningIndustry.com contributor Nikos Andriotis:
- classroom-based training programs,
- interactive training programs,
- on-the-job training (the traditional training methods),
- social learning, and
- online training.
The following paragraphs explain these methods.
Classroom-based training programs are great if you work for a large institution that has multiple new hires starting on the same day, but there are other factors to consider as well. Do you have a room already designated or that can be designated as a training classroom, complete with essential furniture, computers, projector, screen, and any other equipment that may be needed to hold training classes? If you don’t have those things, classroom-based trainings will feel more like a lecture-type presentation, and the participants will get bored. Boredom leads to a lack of attention, which means the learner is no longer learning.
Interactive training is one of the most effective ways to train new employees. This can take the form of simulations, role playing, games, and even tests/quizzes. Interactive training is helpful if there are multiple new hires starting on the same day, and it’s even better if they’ll be working in the same or similar positions. The downside is that this type of training usually requires a bigger time commitment and feedback to make sure it’s meeting the needs of the new employees.
On-the-job training is the best method of the traditional training styles, and it’s probably the one you’ve seen most in the workplace. Having a new employee sitting with a coworker, being involved in activities, phone calls, and one-on-one training speeds up learning and gets the new hire ready to work on their own faster. It may be stressful for some employees, but even that stress can be relieved because coworkers training the new employee can give immediate feedback and identify areas where they need to communicate better.
With the increase in online activity and technology enhancements—and with a more diversely educated employee base with remote work locations spread out geographically—we’re seeing more modern training methods starting to become the common form of training in business. These methods include social learning and online training.
Social learning is defined as learning from others by observing, imitating, and modeling their behavior. So how is this different than on-the-job training? On-the-job training is usually more structured, and while there is a lot of human interaction and demonstration, specific steps are usually followed in the training outline. Social learning is more of a “watch and see” method in which the new employee observes and then imitates or models behavior when they’re asked to perform their duties. It doesn’t require much structure or planning because it’s situational, taking each training situation as it comes along.
Online training is also known as eLearning, and it’s rapidly becoming the most recognized way of providing training to new and existing employees. Online learning allows the learner to receive the training they need without interrupting another employee or needing designated trainers. In addition, many online companies provide job-specific training to be viewed on their own platform or integrated into a Learning Management System (LMS) your business may implement as an ongoing training resource. Whether that training comes from an independent, third-party vendor or is supplied by your core processor/software provider, it allows the employee to learn independently of others at their own pace.
Choosing the right training method for your institution is something that needs to be carefully thought out. At least one person will need to oversee the training, and multiple people will probably want to give opinions on what training is provided.
Why You Should Track Employee Training Progress at Your Institution
To understand why you should track employee training progress, let’s look back at the first section of this article and ask yourself the purpose of having an internal training program. If you truly want to be able to measure the level of learning your employees have gained during their training, you need to have some form of assessment tool available. What that measurement looks like will differ based on the method of training you’re providing.
If you have a more traditional method of training, such as the interactive and on-the-job training explained earlier, your method of tracking employee training progress probably looks more like a real-time evaluation of performance as learning takes place. Or maybe you’ll have practice scenarios you can present to see how the learner will respond. Both are valid methods that work well with traditional methods of training.
If you’re using a social or online method of training, you may have quizzes ranging from true/false and multiple-choice questions to interactive situation-based questions in which the learner must demonstrate how to complete certain tasks. These are also valid methods that work well. If you use an LMS as your learning platform, built-in reporting tools are usually provided to allow you to track progress and make an assessment on the training’s effectiveness.
At FPS GOLD, we use an LMS with a reporting dashboard that gives managers a quick overview of the progress their employees are making. Information such as which courses have been assigned, current progress on those courses, and average time spent in the course is readily available. A simple graph also shows the progress of the whole team, individually and collectively. We also give our clients access to our LMS so they can train their own employees through courses that teach about our banking software. We can allow the manager at the institution to see what their employees are accomplishing, but we can also see the same information and learn where we need to provide more or different training courses for our clients.
Whether or not you use traditional training methods or social/online training methods, it’s important for your institution to provide internal training. If your banking software provider has training available online or through an LMS, take advantage of it as an additional resource to train your employees better to perform their job duties. Use the additional tools at hand to evaluate their progress and the quality of training. By making use of such tools, your employees will be better prepared to perform their job duties, and as a result, will feel that your institution values them. Employee performance will increase, and employee turnover will decrease.