Aligning L&D with Business Goals: Financial Services

In this part of our Business Goal Alignment series, we focus on several industries and how L&D program alignment applies in each scenario—starting with banking and financial services. This post explores how L&D needs to support more than compliance training and onboarding and include areas such as fiduciary standards, ethics, and information security.

Drive continued improvement.

In the world of banking, insurance, and other financial services, L&D needs to support more than onboarding and compliance training. Areas such as fiduciary standards, ethics, and information security also need to be addressed. And if you want the L&D department to be a driver of continuous improvement throughout the organization, you’ll need to understand how to impact larger organizational goals.

According to PwC’s 2017 paper on financial service issues, some of the key priorities to focus on are containing cost, protecting market share from nontraditional players, and finding new revenue opportunities. So, how exactly can L&D help lower corporate expenses, grow patrons’ bank accounts, and promote innovation?

Let’s explore these examples:

1) Reduce corporate expenses by focusing on efficiency.

Identify costly transactions and processes and create more effective ways of accomplishing them. For instance, you notice labor costs for technical support are high. What might be causing this?

Perhaps technical suppor resources aren’t in a central repository, so employees are spending extra time locating specific information. Or, perhaps customers ask time-consuming questions, which could be easily addressed on the website rather than via technical support.

It’s equally important to assess the learning that’s already happening in your organization so you can identify any instances of negative learning. Remember, not all learning is good—especially if employees are being given information that’s wrong or counterproductive.

You also should identify and eliminate any learning that's not being used or applied on the job (a.k.a, scrap learning) to save time and money.

2) Protect market share by focusing on customer service.

Happy customers tend to be loyal, which translates to customer retention, evangelism, and referrals. That’s why employees need a solid understanding of customer needs, questions, and concerns so they’re better equipped to serve customers. Furthermore, employees who are well versed in the organization’s products and services are more likely to increase sales and revenue.

No one enjoys waiting in line—especially when it comes to their finances. And when you streamline online support with well-trained, highly skilled chat agents, customers’ questions are answered quickly and wait times are shorter.

And what about your your website and mobile applications—are they intuitive, well designed, and easy to use? If not, perhaps the technology team needs to be be better informed on market and customer needs so they can improve a mobile app (e.g., mobile check deposit, touch ID login, etc.) or how fraud alerts are delivered.

Remember, if customers can’t find what they need on your website or can’t perform a standard function on your app, chances are they won’t be returning anytime soon.

3) Inspire innovation by focusing on flexibility.

PwC’s report also states, “Staying the same means falling behind.” The same is true for your training and development programs. If your organization is set on innovation and expansion, it’s important that your workforce is flexible and adaptable.

That means ensuring employees not only have easy access to the best resources, but also in their preferred formats. After all, employees are more inclined to actively pursue learning when it’s catered to their needs and preferences.

And to achieve this, you’ll need a modern learning ecosystem that offers variety and accessibility while also enabling you to measure performance against organizational goals and monitor trends or outliers so you can make in-the-moment modifications.

Up Next: L&D Focus on Manufacturing

Join us for the next post in our Business Goal Alignment blog series, as we discuss how L&D can align learning programs in the world of manufacturing. Don’t want to miss out? Subscribe to Watershed Insights and get the next post sent straight to your inbox.

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And the learning measurement survey says...

See how global changes have affected the world of learning and development by reading the results from our sixth annual survey with LEO Learning. It shares an evolving picture of L&D’s relationship with measurement and business impact—including real-world examples and extended commentary.

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