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Training of bank employees goes digital and self-paced

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Banks are using the tools of the digital trade to efficiently and cost-effectively provide professional development to employees.

From webinars to self-paced digital and online e-learning courses, banks are ramping up digital training methods and teaching in a variety of ways.

That translates into less time in the classroom, more time spent serving customers and doing business and reduced training costs.

“A [digital] course introduction helps the learner to prepare for additional training, set expectations and it’s motivating,” said Deb Hamilton, chief learning and development officer at Fulton Financial Corp. of Lancaster, parent company of Lehigh Valley-based Lafayette Ambassador Bank.

Fulton uses webinars, video trainers and e-courses for new employee orientation, professional development and career advancement, Hamilton said.

Using digital training tools also puts learning in the hands of employees to meet changing customer needs, and it gives banks more bang for the buck.

“New teller training and commercial loan training is a lot easier for us now to post to a video,” said Brian Schaffer, QNB Bank chief marketing officer in Quakertown.

The programs are aimed at attracting and retaining high-quality employees.

WEBINARS

BB&T uses webinars for training from onboarding new employees to providing seasoned staff with regulatory and leadership training, according to David Roland, market president for BB&T offices in Berks and northern Montgomery counties. Roland is based in Wyomissing.

“On a quarterly basis, executive management produces DVDs called ‘On The Move’ that are sent out to leaders in the company to watch with their staff and then discuss,” Roland said.

BB&T is developing Skype training programs to better serve its geographic expansion and growth strategies and better accommodate employee learning.

E-LEARNING COURSE CATALOG

Hamilton said video-based learning has changed the face of education at Fulton.

“We also record proactive sessions and executive presentations, which can be instructional” and become valuable learning tools, Hamilton said.

At Fulton, a new e-learning course catalog is slated to roll out in July. The library of digitally produced courses aims to offer single courses, along with grouped series courses, to better serve employees.

“As we get more sophisticated, we’d like to be able to bundle [courses] into a series,” Hamilton said.

The catalog will offer a range of courses including professional development and regulatory learning updates. Compliance training through e-learning is useful and saves time because it preps employees before classroom training, Hamilton said.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

From Warminster to Wescosville, Quakertown and Colmar, QNB Bank uses YouTube videos for new employee orientation, training and professional development.

The in-house developed, produced and shared tools and trainers have reduced the need to schedule multiple orientation classes across QNB’s geographic footprint.

The result is a streamlined, efficient training process, where one staff member manages training throughout the organization, Schaffer said.

Toby Kollar, QNB Bank training manager, creates the training videos and provides the education, making training more consistent and efficient and allowing access to the materials throughout QNB’s branch offices and locations.

VIDEO VIGNETTES

Hamilton said Fulton has a small core team of instructional designers who are responsible for creating video content and training tools in-house.

That means Fulton can customize training and educational materials and keep pace with changing industry and training trends.

Hamilton said difficult or lengthy concepts benefit from video training because employees can view them multiple times and refer to them as needed.

“We use video vignettes to demonstrate a skill,” Hamilton said of the short clips.

DIFFERENT PREFERENCES

Recognizing people learn in different ways also has been part of the success of the new training regimen at QNB and Fulton.

Some people are better with video learning than they are with sitting in a classroom, lecture style, Schaffer said.

The approach makes education flexible, and employees can take advantage of different modules as they need the information, so learning is fresh and relevant to the workday experience, Hamilton said.

“We’ve cut down class time from a full day to a half day … and they get hands-on practical training and real world practice,” Hamilton said.

Video and digital training has decreased training time, too, which translates to a more productive workday for employees and less time lost for employers.

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