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New horizons for learning in Financial Services

New horizons for learning in Financial Services

The Financial Services sector operates in an environment of continuous change. Organisations need to rethink their learning offering to develop and engage colleagues like never before.



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Organisations require learning that engages their colleagues to develop new skills and behaviours like never before. Training people effectively and innovatively helps improve knowledge retention which is essential to reduce business risk. The Financial Services sector is investing significant time and resources to win back customer trust and no organisation can afford to be left behind in this environment of constant, inevitable change.

How has learning evolved?

Various studies have shown that within one hour, learners will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information presented in face to face learning sessions. Classroom based learning can overwhelm participants with endless slide content with no application or practice of skills gained. Click through e learning can be cumbersome, ineffective and potentially expose your organisation to risk. This one-size-fits-all approach can disengage learners and is often ineffective for any real behavioural change. Coupled with a rise of bite-size, personalised content on social media, learning must evolve to meet the world in which we live in and the new ways we absorb content.

A number of techniques can be employed to improve the effectiveness of your learning offering. Micro learning (10-15 minutes) and Nano Learning (2-10 minutes) is easily consumable, repeatable and designed to quickly provide precise knowledge at the moment of need. The learning is designed to be easy to retain and drive an immediate impact on core behaviours. Gamification uses techniques such as timed answers, “lifelines” and scoring to actively involve learners, instead of passively absorbing content. Applying newly acquired knowledge to real-life scenarios allows learners to practice their understanding of the content and aids retention. The scenarios can be branched, allowing a learner to select a course of action and see how it plays out virtually. This provides a more personalised learning experience based on the learner’s areas of development.

Millennials now often select jobs based on the opportunities for personal development, rethinking your learning offering is vital to appeal to a multi-generational employee mix. The KPMG Learning Academy (KLA) designs and builds innovative digital learning on a range of technical topics as well as soft skills.

How cost effective is your learning and development?

Every financial services organisation has a pressure to reduce costs and during challenging times learning and development budgets are often the first to be cut.

Organisations are now moving towards outsourcing their learning management, which can not only cut the costs of the learning function, but can also make the learner experience more consistent and effective. Learning services can cover the end-to-end learning process from design and development, vendor management including managing consortiums, to developing technology ecosystems. It also can cover all aspects of learning administration including scheduling events, reporting, venue sourcing, support services such as helpdesks, and evaluation.

KPMG is now one of the largest learning providers in the UK and KPMG member firms collectively provide Learning Services for approx 400,000 Civil Servants globally, reducing the average cost by learner from £249 to £193.

How to create a transformational learning experience

Learning is not one off event. There are a number of interventions that can be employed to ensure learners and the wider organisation are bought in and the learning is truly embedded. A comprehensive communications and engagement plan can provide a consistent narrative to explain the case for the learning. Ongoing touchpoints following the learning, including reflective exercises and knowledge check-ins, can test the level of retention. Capability frameworks can highlight learning gaps and areas for further development. Digital solutions that track learnings across the firm can provide MI to key stakeholders. Finally, cultural interventions can ensure the organisation at all levels is ready, willing and able to embed the learning effectively.

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