Investing in your employees’ education can do wonders for your bank. I’m going to teach you how to effectively educate your bank employees so they can become the experts you can rely on.
In this post, we’ll cover the following:
- How to make education a priority for your employees;
- How to offer guidance on what’s appropriate for them to study;
- How to educate employees on internal development;
- How to ensure your employees know your policies and procedures;
- And why sharing others’ experience and excitement benefits everyone.
Let’s get started.
Over the past several years, we’ve had a goal here at FPS GOLD to create a consulting mentality. This goal was broken down into pieces, one of which is to be the expert. To help achieve that goal, we’ve worked hard to make time for personal and professional development. Even when we’re busy with our jobs, it’s easy to feel stuck. Creating a plan to provide growth helps employees feel valued. Valued employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees. An investment in your employees is an investment in your company.
There are a lot of ways you can offer personal and professional development. Some of the professional development for banks will be very specific, such as certifications needed to run a financial institution successfully and continuing education credits to keep up those certifications. Look for other ways to offer opportunities to all employees for personal and professional education. Don’t just offer the opportunity, but set the expectation that all employees should be learning and growing, from the top of your organization down.
1. Make Education a Priority
Whether it’s 20 minutes every morning, right after lunch, or blocking out an entire afternoon once a week, find what works best for each employee and for the team, and schedule the time. Make it a clear priority. It may be scheduled differently based on the current goals or the type of education, but make sure there is time set aside each week. For most of us, if it isn’t in the calendar, it doesn’t happen. Make sure it is in the calendar for everyone, including managers. If you make it a priority, so will your employees.
2. Offer Guidance
You may not want this to turn into watching Ted Talks on YouTube a couple of hours a week. Well, maybe some weeks, because who doesn’t love a good Ted Talk, but probably not every week. What are other ways to work on personal and professional growth? Managers can work with individuals and teams to set goals and make plans. Sometimes you may want to give very specific assignments; other times, you may want to leave it up to the employee or brainstorm ideas as a team. Read a book as a team and have group discussion on the things learned and ideas that can be implemented. This can be a great way to motivate or bring in some new energy. Participate in webinars, attend conferences, complete certifications and continuing education courses. Look for different opportunities for both personal and professional growth.
3. Don’t Forget Internal Education and Development
We may quickly become an expert in one area of our job, but if we stop there, we are missing out. Help employees look for opportunities to learn and grow within your institution. Offer a learning center or internal university with online training material, offer a test environment where employees can practice things they’re learning, ask an employee to learn a new application or part of the system and then train other employees on it, encourage them to become experts. But don’t leave them on an island to learn these new things. Make sure they have a mentor, another expert to ask questions of and learn from so they don’t get frustrated. A mentor can help encourage and keep things moving along. Set deadlines and expectations. Giving employees a chance to learn something new and become an expert will increase their confidence in their work and their value to the company.
4. Review Policies and Procedures Often
When a new employee comes in, policies and procedures are some of the first things they learn, but no one will remember them all from their first week. As job duties change, employees may need to know new procedures. If the policies or procedures change, communicate this clearly with all employees and give them the chance to ask questions so they can be sure they understand everything. Reviewing policies and procedures often will ensure all employees know them and are practicing them.
5. Share Experience and Excitement
Allow employees to share the things they’re learning with others. Excitement and positive energy are contagious. If someone is enthusiastic about learning and growing, other employees will be, too. We all know that not everything we’re learning in banking is fun or exciting. Rules, regulations, reporting, and the like can be a bit tedious, but by celebrating accomplishments in mastering some of these areas, you can keep up the excitement. Get creative with incentives or rewards and make education fun.
Our employment is a huge part of our lives. Yes, there are times a job will feel either boring and repetitious or stressful and demanding (or all of the above), but if we can encourage and sponsor an atmosphere of learning and growth, as well as an atmosphere of teamwork and camaraderie, we can build a successful, invigorating workplace.